The Football Association may make a bid for the 2018 World Cup finals.

The FA has been encouraged by London winning the right to host the 2012 Olympics and may bid once again after losing to Germany to host the 2006 World Cup.

The soon-to-completed Wembley stadium could be crucial as a showpiece stadium in any bid submitted. The last major football tournament held in England was Euro 96, which was hosted successfully.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick admitted a bid for the 2018 World Cup was an option.

“I think we would bid further down the line,” said Barwick. “The next one to come to Europe is 2018 and we have got enough time to get organised.”

“I see 2006 as a big year for the Football Association. Hopefully we will qualify for the World Cup and give it a real go,” he added.

“If and when we qualify, we would go into the World Cup as one of the teams that can win it. It’s in the right climate and the right time-zone.

“We have a very good team and are making impressions on European club football too.

“I think we’ve made progress as an international footballing nation and can be expected to do well. This country will come to a halt if we do.”