London - Footballer Didier Drogba said on Thursday he would take legal action
against Britain's Daily Mail newspaper after it published allegations
that most of the money raised by his charity in Britain was not going to
The newspaper reported that less than one percent of over £1.7
million raised by Drogba's charity in
the past five years had gone to help children in the former Chelsea
star's homeland of Ivory Coast.
It claimed that most of the donations to the Didier Drogba Foundation
had been spent on glitzy events for celebrity supporters or was sitting
untouched in bank accounts.
Only £14 115 of the cash raised in Britain was reportedly spent on good causes, the paper said.
But Drogba - currently under contract with Canadian Major League
Soccer team Montreal Impact - hit back, saying the report had caused an
"untold amount of damage".
"Despite sending legal letters and 67 pages worth of documents
advising the Daily Mail that their information was factually incorrect
and libellous, they have decided to ignore the facts so I am issuing
legal proceedings against them today," the footballer said in a
statement issued by his publicist in London.
"There is no fraud, no corruption, no mismanagement, no lies, no impropriety."
The Charity Commission, Britain's official charities watchdog,
confirmed it would investigate the claims after being contacted by the
Mail, saying it had "serious regulatory concerns".
"The commission has 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," chief operating officer David
"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," he added.