Cornish nationalists applying to be allowed to enter a team in the Commonwealth Games have been told they have no chance.
A Cornish team will not be lining up in Melbourne say organisers
Campaigners want to send a team under the black-and-white flag of St Piran to the 2006 Games in Melbourne, Australia.
They say that Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man compete separately.
But Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), said Cornwall is no more than an English county and had no chance.
Mr Hooper urged the campaigners to take up the issue with politicians rather than with the CGF.
He said: "We welcome all athletes from the Commonwealth to participate in the games. How they enter is determined by how their country is recognised in the political sphere.
"Clearly all the athletes from Cornwall are eligible to represent England at the games, which is fine as they are part of England."
Undaunted, Graham Hart, a musician from Camborne, has formed the Cornwall Commonwealth Games Association (CCGA).
He said: "I challenge anyone in authority to tell me what is the downside of this application for Cornwall. It raises standards and it raises opportunities.
"We are talking about the Celtic nation of Cornwall. We are administered as a county but we are not a county."
Mr Hart, honorary secretary of the CCGA, added: "We've got fantastic sporting people down here - we would have one hell of a rugby sevens team."
The CCGA counts ex-England rugby international Brian "Stack" Stevens and Great Britain runner Dave Buzza among its committee members.
The breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also recently applied to compete independently in the games, but was rejected because it is not internationally recognised.