Austria and Switzerland have been selected to host the Uefa 2008 European Championship finals.

UEFA President Lennart Johansson announced the winning bid in Geneva after UEFA’s supreme executive body, the Executive Committee, voted.

The Austrian-Swiss bid saw off six challengers from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina; Greece and Turkey; Hungary; Nordic 2008 (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden); Russia; and Scotland and the Republic of Ireland

Announcing the winners, Johansson also praised the efforts of the rival bids.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the effort that has been made,” he said.

“The process is a tribute to each of the 14 associations involved, and to the political authorities and the fans of football who have given such tremendous backing to their bids.

“Over this time, we have also witnessed a great spirit of friendship and co-operation from all of the candidates,” Mr Johansson added.

“Everyone involved has demonstrated the importance of the European Football Championship to the European football family.”

“New investments are taking place in stadiums and development projects across the bidding countries,” said Mr Johansson.

“I believe the future of European football is in safe hands.”

It emerged later that, in the end, it came down to a choice between the Austro/Swiss bid and Scotland/Ireland.

David Taylor, of the SFA, said: “We are very disappointed. We put forward the best possible bid and gave it our best shot.”

Milo Corcoran, of the FAI, said: “We are disappointed especially after having been in there right up to the end. We felt our bid was very strong. We were happy with our government’s support. I don’t think the uncertainty over a second Irish stadium was an issue.”