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By ESPN Staff

Government support key to World Cup bid - FA

The Football Association feel continued 'serious' Government support would give added weight to any potential bid for the 2018 World Cup.

The Treasury have compiled an extensive feasibility study into staging the tournament in 11 years' time.

There is still some way to go before any official decision will be taken by FIFA as to which continent will host the 2018 competition, probably not until 2009 at the earliest.

But Europe looks to be in pole position, with South Africa and South America the venues for the next two.

Were the world's governing body to award the showpiece event to Europe in 2018, one of the FA's first steps in considering whether or not to bid would be to seek Government support.

Clearly with that already in place, it would be a substantial boost to the chances of England being the preferred destination.

'Government support and public backing are among the most important aspects of any World Cup bid and today's feasibility study is a very welcome initiative,' said a FA spokesman.

'If FIFA does decide to award the 2018 World Cup to Europe, seeking Government support would be one of the first steps the FA would take in assessing a possible bid.

'The fact that a feasibility study has already been undertaken, and with such positive conclusions, is a very strong indicator of how seriously the Government are taking a potential World Cup in England and would certainly be a major factor in our decision making.'