Too late for Platini and co to halt Prince Ali’s FIFA crowning

Michel Platini was as short as 6/5 favourite to be next FIFA president with some bookmakers following Sepp Blatter’s welcome decision to step down as head of football’s governing body, but the UEFA chief is now out to 7/4 with Ladbrokes behind 5/4 jolly Prince Ali bin Hussein.

Considering Platini gave his full-blooded support to the 39-year-old Jordanian in his failed election fight with Blatter just days ago, this is hardly surprising.

The former France player and coach has been a Blatter critic since the Swiss septuagenarian reneged on his pledge to leave office this year, and withdrew UEFA’s support for the head honcho remaining in charge ahead of last summer’s World Cup, despite the other five confederations’ non-action.

At the time, Platini said:

“I am supporting him [Blatter] no longer. I have known him for a long time, I like him, but I am not favourable to him having another term.

I think FIFA needs a breath of fresh air. I share the European position. A new mandate for him would not be good for football.”

To coin a phrase, he who wields the knife can never wear the crown, and the 59-year-old’s effusive praise of Prince Ali during last month’s campaign surely rules out a successful run for the big gig, this time at least.

During the build up to the vote, Platini told L’Equipe:

“I am firmly convinced that Ali, whom I have known on a personal level for years, would make a great FIFA President. He has everything it takes.

“He is honest and humble and comes from a country that bridges different cultures and traditions. He can bring real added value, and he is also someone who knows how to work in a team.”

With the election do-over not likely to be until the end of the year at the earliest, no candidates have yet declared, so Platini might not even throw his hat in the ring.

Former Real Madrid and Barcelona winger Luis Figo, who ran unsuccessfully in the early stages of this year’s campaign, is next best in the betting at 6/1 to take over from Blatter, while former Manchester United chief executive David Gill is an interesting outsider at a top price of 20/1 with Ladbrokes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.