Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has welcomed an investigation into his charity over “serious regulatory concerns”.
The Daily Mail claimed only £14,115 out of £1.7m donated to the Didier Drogba Foundation had helped causes in Africa.
The Charity Commission has opened a case to review concerns about the charity’s administration.
But Drogba, 38, said “everything is clear” and “this money will be spent when it needs to be spent”.
In the article, the Mail said £439,321 was spent putting on lavish fundraising parties attended by celebrities, and more than £1m languished in bank accounts.
Speaking to the BBC from Montreal, Canada, where he is playing for MLS side Montreal Impact, Drogba said all charity projects so far had been funded by his own sponsorship deals, rather than money from UK fundraisers.
The former Ivory Coast international said: “I’m responsible for this money; I’m not going to spend it just to spend it.
“I have projects for the long term and I know what I want to do.”
The African charity, established in 2007, is run in the Ivory Coast but is also registered in the UK.
Drogba said he will take legal action against the Mail, which said in a statement that it “stands by every word of this important story”.
The Charity Commission said it wanted “further information” about the foundation’s spending plans and would look into “allegations that the charity has provided misleading information to donors and the public”.