Cornwall Council spent £50,000 backing Plymouth's 2018 World Cup bid, it has emerged.
The decision to spend the money was taken by council leader Alec Robertson, the West Briton newspaper reported after a Freedom of Information request.
The decision has received some criticism that the money could have been better spent.
The authority said if the bid had been successful, it would have brought considerable benefits.
Plymouth had hoped to host a number of World Cup games at Plymouth Argyle's Home Park ground.
But hopes were dashed in 2010 when England failed in its bid to host the World Cup.
Cornwall Councillor Alex Folkes said: "I think it's a terrible waste of money. There are far better things we can be spending tax payers' hard-earned cash on."
Cornwall Council said in a statement that it was Mr Robertson's decision to support the bid, which, had it been successful, would have brought "considerable benefit to all involved".