FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that Europe is not guaranteed to host the 2018 World Cup finals.
He denied claims that it was a foregone conclusion and revealed that North America or Asia could be in contention to host the finals.
England, who last hosted the tournament in 1966, have expressed a strong interest in staging the 2018 finals. The United States, Australia and China have also indicated they are considering a bid to host the finals.
Blatter was in England for a series of meetings including one with Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.
He told a media briefing: “I can understand the eagerness of the English FA, supported by politicians, to stage the finals, but it is not definite the finals will come back to Europe in 2018.
“If the FIFA executive committee decide later this year that the rotation policy is maintained, in strict procedure it should be in North America in 2018 – and there are three countries who could host it there: the United States, Mexico and Canada.”
“Now there must be a new approach in this rotation. The executive committee must decide whether the rotation should include all the confederations and if all the confederations should be in the rotation, then the next one should be in CONCACAF (which covers north and central America and the Caribbean).
“But the executive committee can also say that the Americas can be considered as one but we will maintain the rotation, and then it would be Asia again.
“Australia has now joined Asia and there is no chance for Oceania (which has been reduced to New Zealand and the Pacific islands) to organise a World Cup with the remaining members.
FIFA will make a decision on the host nation for the 2014 finals in November, with Brazil the frontrunners.
Fifa’s December executive committee meeting could decide to throw the competition out to all bidders.
Blatter said: “It may be that the majority of the Fifa executive committee where you have eight European representatives out of 24, can find the 13 votes needed.”
The United States said last week it would consider a bid for 2018, while Blatter said that senior Chinese officials had informed him of their interest.
“In discussing the Beijing Olympics, Chinese officials have also told me they are considering a bid for a future World Cup,” he added.