Chelsea Legend Didier Drogba’s foundation cleared of corruption charges

After conducting an investigation into the workings and dealings of Didier Drogba’s foundation, the Charity commission have claimed that there weren’t any evidences of fraud or corruption while also indicating that the organisation may have misled donors.

A damning report from the Daily Mail back in April accused Didier Drogba’s charity of fraud and corruption and also cited serious regulatory concerns. The report detailed that the Ivorian’s charity had pumped in just £14,115 into charitable causes in Africa, from a reserve of £1.7 million that had been accumulated in donations since the inception of the initiative in 2009.

The report from the Mail suggested that £439,321 was spent on staging lavish fundraising parties with one ball alone expending £71,000 of the donation money. The newspaper also said supporters were told they were supporting the construction of a hospital and up to five clinics, but only one clinic had been built and it had no staff or medical equipment.

A subsequent inquiry was carried out by the Charity commission looking into the dealings of the charitable foundation and they released a statement regarding it’s findings late on Thursday. While supporting the Daily Mail’s claims regarding figure spent on charitable causes, the commission claimed there was little evidence to suggest the remainder of the money was misused.

The investigative authorities stated that they wanted to assess concerns about the administration of the charity and the oversight provided by trustees, which include a variety of celebrities from the sporting world. Moreover, it sought to investigate allegations that the charity had provided misleading information to donors and the public.

Didier Drogba of the Montreal Impact meets with fans following a 0-0 draw with the LA Galaxy in their MLS match on September 12, 2015 in Carson, California. AFP PHOTO /FREDERIC J.BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Didier Drogba of the Montreal Impact meets with fans following a 0-0 draw with the LA Galaxy in their MLS match on September 12, 2015 in Carson, California.  (Photo courtesy:  FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

The major take back from their findings was that the funds connected to the Drogba foundation haven’t been misapplied in any manner and that they are still held by the charity. However they did instruct the Chelsea legend to initiate an action plan wherein concerns, especially with regard to transparency to donors and the English public, are addressed by the trustees of the organization.

A number of activities were carried out by La Fondation Didier Drogba, a separate organisation based in the striker’s Ivory Coast home nation. But the English charity, established in 2009, spent no money on charitable activity and was instead raising cash for a hospital project which was delayed because of the unstable political situation in Ivory Coast.

The charity was criticised for not making this clear to donors, and investigators said the lack of distinction between the two groups may also have misled donors “about the activities of the charity they were supporting”.

Drogba welcomed the commission’s findings and reiterated the false nature of the Daily Mail’s report. In his statement, the Ivorian was quoted as saying,”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.”

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