The Football Association has revealed it will not make a decision on a making a formal bid to host the 2018 World Cup until autumn 2006.
A Treasury spokesman confirmed the Government and Football Association are in early talks about launching a bid.
And FA communications director Adrian Bevington admitted a bid would be given "serious consideration."
But he added: "It will be at least next autumn before we would put any definite proposals in place."
Bevington said: "It's fantastic news that the Government, through the Treasury, have announced their support for any such future bid.
"But in terms of the precise nature of any such bid that won't be for another year or so."
Sports minister Richard Caborn said a lot of work remained to be done before a decision could be made on bidding.
He said: "The Government has been discussing with the FA for some time the feasibility of doing that but we are a long way off still.
"It is the same process as we went through before deciding to go ahead with London's Olympic bid, looking at what we ought to be presenting to the Government about whether this country bids or not."
A Treasury spokesman stressed that no decision had been taken on whether to bid, despite indications Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown support it.
Formal bidding for the 2014 tournament has yet to open, let alone the subsequent World Cup four years later.
Mr Brown praised the England team at an event in the House of Commons on Monday where he and other Parliamentarians had the chance to take a look at the World Cup trophy.
The Scottish-born Chancellor said it was "great having the actual World Cup here on English soil".
He added: "After Saturday's performance against Argentina, there is real belief the England team can bring it back again next summer - 40 years on from that glorious afternoon in 1966, where Sir Geoff Hurst's goals won the day."
Earlier this month Tony Blair indicated he would back any attempt by the Football Association to host the 2018 World Cup.
He said during an appearance on the BBC's Football Focus: "I think if you think you have got a shot at these things, go and have a go.
"We did the Olympics - I frankly didn't think we would win when we started, but we did.
"It'll be painful getting there (2012) but when we do it, it will be the greatest event this country has seen. I wouldn't push them to do it (bid for the World Cup), but if they want to, then why not?"
An application to stage the 2006 World Cup ended in failure after Germany was picked as host.
However, Fifa president Sepp Blatter has encouraged England to try again, describing it as "the homeland of football".
New facilities already planned for the 2012 Olympics would also give the country a head-start, according to Mr Blatter.
South Africa is staging the 2010 tournament and under Fifa's rotation policy, the 2014 World Cup should be in South America, almost certainly in Brazil.