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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 13:31 GMT
Mihir Bose view
By Mihir Bose
BBC sports editor

In a major surprise, Scot John McBeth was chosen on Monday to take the British position on the Fifa executive, world football's governing body.

Usually, the four home nations agree amicably on the appointment of a new Fifa vice-president.

But this time, all four nations wanted the job.

And I understand that at a meeting at Heathrow's Radisson Hotel there had to be three votes before representatives of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales could reach a decision on who should succeed another Scot, David Will, in the post.

John McBeth, president of the Scottish FA
McBeth was a surprise winner of the contest for the UK's Fifa post
The heads of the four football associations - Englishman Geoff Thompson, Jim Boyce of Ireland, McBeth and Wales's Peter Rees - all presented their case at the meeting.

But at the end of the first vote, the result was a 1-1-1-1 tie - each had voted for themselves.

There was then a second vote to decide which candidate should be eliminated - and Boyce was the first to go.

McBeth won the third vote 2-1, suggesting the Northern Irish probably voted for the Scots.

The result means Scotland extends its 17-year hold on the post for at least another four years.

McBeth, a 63-year-old chartered surveyor, has been president of the SFA for four years, a role he took on after being chairman of Clyde.

He has been a member for 14 years of the International Board, the body that decides the laws of the game and is composed of the home nations and Fifa.

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