FIFA today gave the green light on for British football teams at the 2012 London Olympics, saying it would not have any effect on the individual status of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have voiced concern that taking part as Britain would compromise their ability to compete in future international tournaments as separate teams.
But at its FIFA's ruling Executive Committee, meeting in Tokyo on the eve of the Club World Cup final between Manchester United and Deportiva Quito, promised that this would not be the case.
A statement from FIFA said: "The Executive Committee confirmed that the participation in the 2012 London Olympic Games of a single team representing Great Britain would not affect the existing individual status of the four British football associations.
"The British associations will be invited to determine whether they wish for such a team to participate, and how it would be composed, with a view to presenting their proposal to the FIFA executive committee in March 2009."
The Scottish Football Association is the most strongly opposed to the idea, although British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, himself a Scot, is in favour.
Brown said yesterday that he had spoken to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson about leading the team.