UEFA chief Michel Platini and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan are the betting favorites to succeed outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who announced his resignation Tuesday just days after being re-elected for his fifth term.
Within an hour of Blatter's shocking resignation, United Kingdom sportsbook William Hill installed Platini as a 6-5 favorite, with Prince Ali next at 7-4. At UK sportsbook Ladbrokes, Prince Ali is the favorite at 5-4, with Platini at 7-4. Portugal football icon Luis Figo is third at 6-1.
Platini and Prince Ali both said Blatter's resignation was the right decision, but neither immediately declared his intention to run in the special election, which is expected to be held between December and March 2016.
Other candidates listed on William Hill's initial market: Turkish FA president Senes Erzik (12-1); CONCACAF general secretary Ted Howard (12-1); Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou (14-1) and English FA chairman Greg Dyke (50-1).
Blatter came under fire last week when U.S. authorities indicted 14 people -- nine football officials and five sports-marketing executives -- on charges of wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering. Blatter was not charged. However, ABC News reported Tuesday that the 79-year-old Swiss was a target in the probe.
Despite the scandal, Blatter was re-elected as FIFA president. He was a commanding 1-20 favorite in that race before the indictments, but saw his odds lengthen as the controversy took off and money came in on Prince Ali. Blatter closed as only a 1-2 favorite, but still prevailed.
"Most of the money was on Prince," William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly told ESPN in an email.
When the indictments were announced May 27, Ladbrokes re-opened betting on which country would host the 2022 World Cup, currently scheduled for Qatar. The book updated the odds Tuesday after the Blatter resignation, moving the U.S. from 5-1 to 3-1. Qatar remains the favorite at 1-3, with Australia at 9-1 and Germany at 16-1.
The odds of Qatar being stripped of the 2022 World Cup were slashed from 5-1 to 5-4 Tuesday at William Hill.
Blatter's resignation was greeted with support from across the globe and considered to be a step in the right direction for combating corruption in football on and off the field.
"A functionally reformed FIFA, transparent and strongly ethical, would by its very nature dissuade match fixers and the corrupt in football," Chris Eaton, a former head of security for FIFA and the director for sport integrity for the International Centre for Sport Security, told ESPN Chalk in an email. "A reformed FIFA is the most important building block in protecting not only administration from corruption, but the field of play too. A reformed FIFA will be a strong shield against match-fixing."