Didier Drogba Foundation: Charity Commission probe 'coming to a close'

By Alex BysouthBBC Sport
Didier Drogba
Drogba is currently playing for Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact

A report into the "serious regulatory concerns" surrounding a charity run by Didier Drogba is due to be released by the Charity Commission within a month.

In April, the Daily Mail claimed that just £14,115 out of £1.7m donated to the Didier Drogba Foundation had gone to help causes in Africa.

The Charity Commission launched an investigation into the case, and says that is now "coming to a close".

Ex-Chelsea striker Drogba, 38, said the story was "false and defamatory".

He previously said in a statement:external-link "There is no fraud, no corruption, no mismanagement and no lies."

The Mail said it "stands by every word of this important story" and had not alleged corruption or fraud.

The Didier Drogba Foundation was set up in the Ivory Coast in 2007 and registered in the UK as a separate entity in 2009 to allow Drogba to raise funds while in England playing for Chelsea.

Drogba's Chelsea medal tally
Premier League (4): 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2014-15
Champions League (1): 2011-12
FA Cup (4): 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12
League Cup (3): 2004-05, 2006-07, 2014-15

In the article, the Mail claimed that £439,321 was spent putting on "lavish" fundraising parties attended by celebrities, and more than £1m "languished" in bank accounts.

But Drogba said he had spent his own sponsorship earnings first and planned to use UK fundraising money for future projects.

In his statement, he listed the accomplishments of his foundation, including building a mobile clinic, investing in orphanages, and funding the purchase of school bags, books and a dialysis machine.

The Commission said in April it would set out to assess "concerns about the administration of the charity and the oversight provided by trustees, all of whom appear to live abroad, as well as allegations that the charity has provided misleading information to donors and the public.

"Further, the charity has raised and accumulated significant sums of money that have not yet been spent and further information is required over the plans to spend those funds."

The investigation is still ongoing, but the Commission said a case report will be published due to the high-profile nature of the charity.

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