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Friday, 15 April 2016


FORMER CHELSEA striker Didier Drogba has vowed to fight back against claims that less than one per cent of the funds raised by his foundation have actually been used as intended.

The footballer is said to have been left “heartbroken and devastated” by the smears against his charity work made in a Daily Mail investigation.

Drogba is said to be taking legal action against the publication after the paper made the allegations, which included claims that only £14,115 of £1.5 million raised actually went to good causes.

The 38-year-old says he has put £3.7 million of his own money into the foundation and that the accusations are a threat to himself, supporters but most of all the children he works with.

Drogba told Sky Sports: [The claims] are very disrespectful and very bad for the foundation and these allegations are not right.

"The money hasn't been spent, yes, but what's wrong with that? The most important thing is that these are long-term projects."

He went on: "I'm not doing all this work just for one year or for two years. We have a lot of projects, we have a mobile clinic and we have done a lot of work in orphanages.

"Two days ago, they asked us some questions and we answered but they are not happy with them. I have spent more than 3.7m Euros on this project."

In a statement, Drogba went into further detail about the nature of his claim against the Daily Mail, saying: "Despite sending 67 pages' worth of documents advising theDaily Mail that their information was libellous, they have decided to ignore the facts and so I am issuing legal proceedings.

"They have already caused an untold amount of damage by contacting all of my sponsors... and putting doubts in their mind about whether to continue to support us in the future.

"Their attempts to destroy the work of the Foundation will not stop me continuing the work we have begun."

The Charity Commission, which regulates UK charities, is to investigate and their chief operating officer David Holdsworth says they have contacted the Foundation for an urgent response to what it calls "serious regulatory concerns".

The Didier Drogba Foundation was set up in 2007 by the star with the aim of providing healthcare and education in Africa.

Among the projects it has supported is the building of a medical clinic in Abidjan, which although finished in August 2015, has yet to receive approval by the authorities in the country.

In recent years, the Foundation has held four celebrity fundraising events in London, which have raised £2m.

Drogba's former Chelsea team-mates Frank Lampard and John Terry, along with U2's Bono, and Princess Beatrice are among those who have supported the charity.

“What drives me is to help children, help their lives, their education and their health. I believe I can make a difference but things like these are designed to try and stop that. That is what hurts the most. It’s not me they are affecting, but the children,” Drogba said.

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