Minister hints at 2018 England World Cup bid
UK Sports Minister Richard Caborn tonight admitted there is a 'very good chance' England will bid for the 2018 World Cup.
Caborn, who recently sampled the atmosphere of the tournament on a fact-finding mission to Germany, is convinced England has the facilities to more than match the success of the event this summer.
Caborn said: 'I think the way we're approaching this, I think that we obviously think there would be a very good chance of bidding for the World Cup.
'Obviously as a Sports Minister I'd be disappointed if we didn't (make a bid for 2018) because I'd be at the forefront of pushing it, as I was with the Olympics.
'There's no doubt its doable. You look at places like the Emirates Stadium and football grounds up and down the country and we have some of the best stadia in the world - I have no doubts at all.
'(It would be) 2009 for the actual bid itself, but the feasibility report will come out in the next few weeks or months and will tell us what the cost benefit analysis would be and so on, and we will build on that information.
'We will be looking at what our strengths and weaknesses are and will look to address those issues before we make a formal bid.
'If we're going to do it, we've got to do it right, and it's got to be well thought out.'
If a bid is made to bring the tournament to England for the first time since 1966, Caborn believes the 2012 Olympics will provide a solid test of the country's infrastructure.
'In the Olympics themselves, football will be one of the sports to actually go around the country,' he added.
'It will be at Hampden Park (in Glasgow) and in Cardiff and at Aston Villa's stadium and will finish at the great Wembley.
'The 2012 Games will be a great showcase, and I have no doubts at all that if we really want to make a bid for 2018 then we have the stadia, and indeed the organisation that can more than manage that.
'Wembley will be the greatest stadium in the world, and will be a real credit to the nation.'
Caborn was in Hull to promote the possibilities on offer for towns and cities outside of London to benefit from the 2012 Olympics.