CARDIFF (AFP) - Scotland and Wales have abandoned a planned joint bid to host the 2016 European Championships due to the economic downturn, Welsh football chiefs said Sunday.
The Football Association of Wales said UEFA's decision to expand the tournament to 24 teams was also a factor.
"After careful consideration, the FAW and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) have decided not to make a joint bid to host the Euro 2016 Football Championships," the governing body said on its website.
FAW secretary general David Collins added: "The current economic downturn and the very considerable implications for infrastructure provision following UEFA's decision to expand the European Championship finals to 24 teams are key considerations.
"While the ambition to host a future tournament remains undiminished, the unanimous view is that a bid for Euro 2016 is premature and will not maximise Scotland and Wales' chances of success.
"It is well understood and appreciated that many football fans will be disappointed that Wales and Scotland will not be bidding for the Euro 2016 finals, but we must be realistic about hosting a tournament of this size.
"The immediate focus and priority of the FAW is the effort to qualify the national team for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine."
The current UEFA bid regulations stipulate that at least nine stadia are required. Four must have at least 30,000 seats, three must have at least 40,000 seats and two must have at least 50,000.
The only stadia with a 30,000-plus capacity in Scotland are Celtic Park, Hampden and Ibrox in Glasgow and the Murrayfield rugby stadium in Edinburgh, while Cardiff's Millennium Stadium is the one in Wales.
Welsh Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "The (Welsh) Assembly government has been looking at the potential investment required to support a bid to host this tournament.
"Currently only the Millennium Stadium meets UEFA's requirements for this expanded tournament, and the cost of bringing other venues up to this standard would run into tens of millions of pounds (dollars, euros).
"In the current economic and financial climate, this is unaffordable.
"We will continue to work hard at bringing world-class events to Wales, which can provide economic and cultural benefits to our nation."
|Baldini appointed as Tottenham technical director|
|FA Cup final given end-of-season billing|
|Coyle´s Wigan tenure begins at Barnsley|
|Celtic to start with Ross County test|
|Pique advises Thiago to stay at Barcelona|
|Llambias resigns but Pardew vows to stay on|
|Lampard targets third World Cup|
|Zorc: De Bruyne is interested in Dortmund move|
|FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: United States stay in charge|
|Neill, Schwarzer in the shop window|
|Osieck vindicated by super-sub Kennedy|
|Puyol set for further surgery|
|Ribery, Benzema trial adjourned|
|Bielsa, Santos talks fall through|
|Vilanova rues easy title run-in|
|Del Bosque defends Casillas´ inclusion|
|Lens leaves PSV for Dynamo Kiev|
|FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Spain v Tahiti|
|FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: Australia, Iran, South Korea qualify|
|Carroll passes West Ham medical|
|Maher agent denies Ajax deal|
|Newcastle confirm Kinnear appointment|
|Taylor ´really happy´ with Kinnear return|
|Australia 1-0 Iraq: Kennedy books Brazil place|
|Clarke happy with Reid commitment|
|Bittencourt signs for Hannover|
|Van Dijk keen on Celtic move|
|De Gea sets the bar high|
|Confederations Cup Preview: Nigeria v Uruguay|
|Bacuna keen to get going at Villa|
|Hamburg a possibility for Santa Cruz|
|Rebelo: Protests will not harm Confederations Cup|
|Kinnear: We need another striker|
|Brazil-Mexico Preview: Selecao gunning for semi-final berth|
|Valcke: Brazil better for football tournaments|
|Tahiti trump Nigeria in celebration stakes|
|FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Italy v Japan|
|FIFA Confederations Cup: Nigeria 6 Tahiti 1|
|Borini´s Napoli move unlikely|
|Remon: Zidane not ready for Real job|
|Elyounoussi says yes to Hoffenheim|
|Mignolet agent anticipating bids|
|Schalke signs Clemens|
|Italy-Japan Preview: Azzurri aiming to move closer to last four with victory|
|Sidwell looking for settled squad at Fulham|
|Hearts set to enter administration|
|Martinez hoping to bring ´characters´ to Everton|
|Scholes sad to see Robinson leave Stoke|
|Bayern, Barca in hunt for Koscielny|
|Toulouse deny Lyon approach for Tabanou|
|Vitoria pleased with ´dream´ Benfica move|
|Poyet refuses to attend hearing|
|UEFA Under 21 Championship Final Preview: Italy v Spain|
|Van Dijk attracting foreign interest|
|FIFA Confederations Cup Preview: Brazil v Mexico|
|Brentford confirm signing of Bidwell from Everton|
|Lambert says Lowton can still improve|
|Owen not ready to become a manager|
|Rangel praises Michu impact|
|Gundogan pledges future to Dortmund|
|Tevez refuses to be drawn on speculation|
|Mourinho: Chelsea need stability|
|Reid remains at West Brom after agreeing new deal|
|Tahiti 1-6 Nigeria: Oduamadi hits hat-trick as Super Eagles smash South Pacific islanders|
|Dortmund confirm Lewandowski stay|
|Hull sign Figueroa|
|Colombia Primera Division Wrap: Santa Fe held as Pasto, Millonarios win|
|Liverpool appoint new chief financial officer|
|Isco reveals offers from Real and City|
|Bradford to start Capital One Cup campaign at Huddersfield|
|Kinnear: Cabaye will stay at Newcastle|
|Peru Primera Division Wrap: Cesar Vallejo up to fourth|
|Paraguay Division Profesional Wrap: Nacional Asuncion beaten after securing title|
|Argentina Primera Division Wrap: Blanco brace fires Lanus|
|Ecuador Primera A Wrap: Independiente held despite Guerrero stunner|
|Del Bosque satisfied with Spain´s Cup opener|
|FIFA Confederations Cup: Spain 2 Uruguay 1|
|Prandelli undeterred by plucky Mexico|
|FIFA World Cup Qualifying Wrap: Ethopia, Egypt top groups|