FA discontinue Great Britain team for Rio Olympics in 2016

The Football Association has scrapped plans to field Great Britain men's and women's football teams at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The FA wrote to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations on Monday to inform them of the decision after failing to gain their support and, on Tuesday, a spokesman confirmed the plan has now been dropped, saying: "After careful discussion, The FA has decided not to enter either a women's or a men's team into the Rio Olympics 2016.

"We are disappointed not to be able to go ahead, given the fantastic opportunity it would have afforded the players and the broader exposure it would have brought to the game in our countries.''

Team GB did form a side for both men's and women's teams at London 2012, but the home associations only agreed to do so as a one-off. Both went out at the quarterfinal stage.

Football Association of Wales president Trefor Lloyd Hughes had reacted furiously when the FA sent a letter in January informing the home nations of its plans for 2016. He said he was "livid'' at the letter and vowed to oppose the move.

FIFA also made it clear that all four home nations would have to agree before the plan could be ratified. In light of that, the FA's director of football services Jonathan Hall contacted the other British associations on Monday to inform them it had decided to drop the plan.

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said last week: ''I was given an absolute categorical reassurance from FIFA that unless full agreement could be reached between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there would be no GB team participating at next year's Olympics."