Yesterday, Daily Mail published an article that emphatically states that the Didier Drogba Foundation is guilty of misappropriation of funds and possible embezzlement. The article claimed that about £14,115 out of £1.7m donated by stars, royals and businessmen to the Foundation was actually used for good causes in Africa. Subsequently, the Charity Commission followed it up with an ongoing investigation.
“We have serious regulatory concerns about a number of compliance issues raised and have contacted the Didier Drogba Foundation to seek an urgent response… 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. “– Charity Commission
Daily Mail implied that the chunk of the money were used for lavish ‘fund raising’ parties (£439,321) and the rest (over £1m) “languishing in accounts”. The report says that the duly used £14,115 makes up less than 1% the funds raised in the United Kingdom for the foundation.
The Didier Drogba Foundation is known to have enjoyed high-profile sponsorship from Pepsi, Nike and Samsung. Princess Beatrice, Christine Bleakley, Frank Lampard and David Beckham are some of his prominent sponsors.
Didier is a UN Goodwill ambassador. The United Nations and Africa as a whole hold him on a pedestal. In 2009, he set up the Didier Drogba foundation. The aim was to provide affordable healthcare and education for poor African children especially in his home country, Ivory Coast.
In a statement on Twitter, the 38-year old former Chelsea striker, denied all the allegations from the media agency, calling it untrue. Drogba is threatening to sue the agency for defamation. Worse still when the accusation will affect the African children who benefit from their services. Drogba faces a huge chance of losing his sponsors. He could also rub his tears of success in the mud with this scandal.
“Despite their claims, there is no fraud, no corruption, no mismanagement and no lies.” – Drogba
Daily Mail says they have handed all evidence against the talented soccer star to the Charity Commission. They say that the Ivory Coast clinic which the foundation raised funds for is “empty with no equipment”.
“I come from a poor family and I had to work hard to get where I am today, but this would mean nothing to me if I wasn’t able to give back to my country, my continent and my community.” – Drogba
If he is guilty, only time will tell. It will be utterly embarrassing for Africa if he is found guilty after all. The UN has also indicated interest in the case.