The World Cup has more spectators and more televisions viewers so why should we put our independence on the line?
Hopes of a British football team at the London 2012 Olympics have been dealt a major blow after heavy criticism of the plan by a former Fifa vice-president.
David Will retired from Fifa in May but has urged Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to oppose the plan.
Will said: "We should not take the chance of joining a British team.
"There's nothing to stop an association saying 'the four British associations have played together at an Olympics so they can do at a World Cup as well'."
Will's opinion carries enormous weight with the home nations because of his years of experience inside world football's governing body - and he says Fifa President Sepp Blatter's assurances cannot be relied upon.
A Scottish lawyer, Will added: "We should not take the chance of joining a British team.
"I'm sure Sepp Blatter means what he says but why should the associations take that chance?
"I have never accepted that we should take such a risk."
British Olympic chiefs may now have to examine whether they can field a team of English players as a British representative side in 2012.
Will said in terms of importance between participating in the World Cup or the Olympics there was only one winner.
"The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world and not the Olympics, despite what they say," he said.
"The World Cup has more spectators and more televisions viewers so why should we put our independence on the line?
"It is more important to be in the World Cup as independent associations than in the Olympics as one.
"For many years there were threats to the independence and those could surface again."