London - Britain could back the holding of an alternative football World Cup but only with the support of European partners following last week's arrest of FIFA officials, a government minister said on Monday.
John Whittingdale - Culture, Media and Sport Minister - told parliament that "if there were any serious attempt to organise an alternative to the existing World Cup, that could only be done if there were a strong agreement across the European nations, and preferably with other football associations from around the world.
"But I do think that this is a matter in the first instance for football to decide," he added.
UEFA Executive Committee member Allen Hansen last week mooted the suggestion of holding a European Championship every two years, open to those outside the continent, and the matter will be discussed when Europe's football chiefs meet later this week, Whittingdale said.
The British politician stressed the importance of unseating FIFA president Sepp Blatter, saying the Swiss administrator's credibility "has been utterly destroyed."
"Momentum against him is building, we must now increase that pressure still further," he added.
"It is up to everyone who cares about football to use whatever influence they have to make this possible.
"FIFA's sponsors need to think long and hard about whether they want to be associated with such a discredited and disgraced organisation."
Whittingdale said the English Football Association was "trying to find allies across Europe in order to join us in making that case."