Didier Drogba’s charity, The Didier Drogba Foundation, has been cleared of accusations of corruption and fraud in an investigation led by regulator The Charity Commission.
The investigation followed claims made in a report by the Daily Mail that the 38-year-old former Chelsea player’s charity had donated just £14,115 of the total £1.7 million raised to causes in Africa, the purpose for which the charity was established.
Though the commission said it had found “no evidence of fraud or corruption” by the foundation in its investigation, which began in April, it did say that donors may have been misled.
After analysing the accounts of the charity, which was established in 2007, The Commission found that funds collected in the UK had been saved in a UK current account rather than spent on the causes set out on the Foundation’s website, such as the construction of health centres and distributing school kits to children.
Didier Drogba returned to Chelsea for a season in 2014-15 after a lengthy spell at the club between 2004-12.
Didier Drogba returned to Chelsea for a season in 2014-15 after a lengthy spell at the club between 2004-12.Eurosport
In a report published by The Commission, it said: “Donors will have expected their donations to have been used for charitable purposes, not accumulated in a bank account,” the report read.
“Donors to the English charity may also have been misled about the activities of the charity they were supporting.
“This is because the impression was given that the English charity had financed the activities of the Ivory Coast Foundation, which is clearly not the case.”
In light of its findings, The Commission said it had “issued the charity with an action plan to ensure that the outstanding concerns, particularly with regard to transparency to donors and the public, are addressed by the charity’s trustees.”
Though the Daily Mail says it never alleged fraud or corruption, Didier Drogba, who is from the Ivory Coast, released a statement in response to the report saying he would seek damages and an apology from the newspaper.
He said: “No funds have been misapplied by my Foundation, and that there has been no financial wrongdoing, no fraud and no corruption.
“I am pleased that this supports what we always said from the start, which is that the claims made by the Daily Mail back in April were entirely false.
“I have instructed my lawyers to seek a full apology and damages to be paid to my Foundation from the Daily Mail.”