KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Maurico Macri, with time on his hands after being ousted as President of Argentina last year, has returned to football with his appointment as chairman of the social-development-targeted FIFA Foundation.

Macri, one-time president of former South American champions Boca Juniors, may thus conveniently also be on hand for informal, unofficial advice to the quartet from Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay hoping to bid to host the 2030 World Cup finals.

Gianni Infantino, president of the world football federation, said: “Mauricio is the perfect fit to lead this project, which aims to harness football to benefit society.

“Through his experience as the leader of a major nation, he knows all about the central role that education will play in the future of our societies, and having presided over one of the world’s most successful football clubs, he is well aware of the unique power of our sport and the unrivalled passion that it inspires.”

Macri, who lost his bid for a second four-year term as President in October, will work alongside ceo Youri Djorkaeff and focus on education programmes.

Last March the foundation listed 93 organisations across all continents which would benefit from its support from a total budget of more than $3.1 million. The range of social initiatives includes programmes in the spheres of education, health, peace-building, refugees, leadership and gender equality.

Regulations state that:

Applications for support are only accepted from not-for-profit non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that are non-discriminatory, politically and religiously independent and that already run established programmes using football to address social issues and target children or youths.

To ensure the legitimacy of all projects and the appropriate use of funds, applicants must provide fully audited financial statements and also guarantee that other donors will provide funding equal to or greater than the funding provided by FIFA Foundation.