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Bookies say age of African pope may have arrived

Nigerian Arinze favored as next pontiff by some betting agencies

Bookies say age of African pope may have arrived

Rome, February 11 - Bookmakers who are busy laying out the odds on who will be the next pontiff to take the place of Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned on Monday citing his advancing age, say that the era of an African pope may have arrived. Online betting agency Agimeg says that the next pope could be Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze and place Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana as second in the running. Bookies have placed Milan Cardinal Angelo Scola as the European favourite to succeed Benedict, followed by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa and president of the Italian Bishops' Conference. Paddy Power booking agency also places Arinze as the first choice, followed by Turkson, then Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet. The name to be chosen by the next pope is also subject for wagering, with Peter in the lead, followed by Pius, John Paul, John and Benedict.

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