The Football Association has confirmed that it has not yet made a decision on a making a formal bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

A Treasury spokesman confirmed the Government and Football Association are in early talks about launching a bid, but no decision will be until autumn 2006.

FA communications director Adrian Bevington stated: “It will be at least next autumn before we would put any definite proposals in place.”

“It’s fantastic news that the Government, through the Treasury, have announced their support for any such future bid.

“But in terms of the precise nature of any such bid that won’t be for another year or so.”

Sports minister Richard Caborn said: “The Government has been discussing with the FA for some time the feasibility of doing that but we are a long way off still.

“It is the same process as we went through before deciding to go ahead with London’s Olympic bid, looking at what we ought to be presenting to the Government about whether this country bids or not.”

Earlier this month Tony Blair indicated he would support any attempt to host the 2018 World Cup in the UK.

“I think if you think you have got a shot at these things, go and have a go,” he told the BBC.

“We did the Olympics – I frankly didn’t think we would win when we started, but we did.

“It’ll be painful getting there (2012) but when we do it, it will be the greatest event this country has seen. I wouldn’t push them to do it (bid for the World Cup), but if they want to, then why not?”

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