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Government to brief Blatter on World Cup bid

Chancellor Gordon Brown and sports minister Richard Caborn will tomorrow underline to FIFA president Sepp Blatter the seriousness of their backing for England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

The tournament will be at the top of the agenda for a meeting between Blatter and the ministers.

A feasibility study commissioned by the Government has already reported that England would have an excellent chance of becoming hosts in 11 years' time.

Caborn told PA Sport: 'The meeting is primarily to inform the FIFA president of what we are doing in terms of preparation for a possible bid for the 2018 World Cup.

'We will tell Mr Blatter that if the FA do decide to bid for the World Cup they have got our full support.

'Gordon is also interested in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and we will be looking to explore how we can co-operate through FIFA to help them for that tournament.

'We want to be involved in that World Cup, and I've no doubt Gordon will also be talking about the state of Scottish football!'

The US Soccer Federation last week decided they would bid for the 2018 World Cup, while Australia may also do so, but Caborn said he was not worried about the competition.

The World Cup usually comes back to Europe every third tournament, and television companies certainly would be in favour of the 2018 tournament being in Europe with the 2014 World Cup being staged in South America, where the time difference is not ideal for peak audience viewing.

Caborn said the experience of London's successful bid for the 2012 had been invaluable, and that they would anticipate strong competition for 2018.

He added: 'We expect that there will be prestigious countries bidding and that we will be up against stiff competition, that's exactly why we are doing what we are doing now.

'We are making it clear both to FIFA, UEFA and the other footballing authorities we would make a serious bid.

'Sepp Blatter is a member of the IOC and he has seen at first-hand how the UK can put a bid together, and I understand that he was very impressed what we did for the 2012 Olympics.

'The feasibility report says we have stadia ready now and coming on stream. We must have the best stock of stadia anywhere in the world, and Wembley will be the best stadium of any in the world - a fantastic venue in which to stage a World Cup final.'