Scotland and Wales have abandoned plans for a joint bid to host the 2016 European Championships.

The Football Association of Wales tonight cited the economic downturn and other concerns arising from UEFA's move to expand the tournament to 24 teams for the decision.

A statement on their website read: ‘After careful consideration, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) have decided not to make a joint bid to host the Euro 2016 Football Championships.’

FAW secretary general David Collins explained: ‘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 potential for a joint bid for a future European Championships will be reviewed and reassessed at the appropriate time.’

Deputy first minister and minister for economy and transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones said: ‘The 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.

‘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.’