Former FAW secretary Alun Evans says the FA's plan to allow Cardiff to play in Europe if they win the FA Cup is a "backward step" for Welsh football.
The Football Association has decided the Bluebirds will represent England in next season's Uefa Cup should they beat Portsmouth at Wembley on 17 May.
The decision was taken despite rules saying Welsh clubs can only qualify via their own national competitions.
"I think it's a backward step for Welsh football," said Evans.
The FA board's decision effectively means Cardiff will now represent the English league in Europe and follows Uefa hints that they would offer the club a wild card spot in Europe if they lifted the Cup anyway.
But Evans says the move will put paid to plans to improve domestic Welsh football and effectively hinder its long-term development.
Evans recently wrote a document entitled 'FAW Strategic Plan 2007-2012' which called for Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham to be permitted to field teams in the Welsh Premier League.
He suggested the three exiled Welsh clubs be allowed to continue to play in the English Football League but field second teams in the Welsh Premier.
At the moment you might as well say that Cardiff is an English club and has no relevance to Welsh football
Former FAW secretary Alun Evans
If successful in the Welsh Premier, these teams would then qualify for European competitions providing more powerful Welsh representation in Europe than is currently on offer.
This is what has prompted Evans' criticism of the FA's move and he said he was not trying to pour cold water on the achievements of Cardiff in reaching the FA Cup final.
"It's good news for Cardiff City and its fans," he explained. "But in administrative terms and in terms of the credibility of Welsh football on an international basis then I don't think the argument for their entrance into Europe can be sustained.
"For all that Cardiff have played for 80-odd years in the FA Cup, they also played in the Welsh Cup and represented Wales on several occasions through that competition.
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