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As the Craig Bellamy charitable foundation closed, investigation opens.

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Craig Bellamy charitable foundation ‘being examined by Charity Commission’ after Sierra Leone football academy’s sudden closure.

Two former staff members at the football academy said that four of the boys are now sharing a single room without furniture or a toilet

The foundation, which helped about 2,400 boys and girls at its height, suddenly shut in September.

Bellamy, who played for for ten clubs including Manchester City, Liverpool and Celtic, pumped hundreds of thousands of pounds of his own money into the project.

But former staff members say not enough attention was given to developing a structure that would make it sustainable.

A commission spokesperson told The Times: “I can confirm that concerns have been raised with us about The Craig Bellamy Foundation and the closure of its academy in Sierra Leone.

“We are assessing these concerns to determine what, if any, role there might be for the commission.

“As part of our engagement, we are reminding trustees of their duty to file outstanding financial accounts.

“Trustees must account to the public and donors for their income and expenditure and the failure to do so may give rise to concerns about the governance and administration of a charity.”

The academy was set up in Tombo, a small fishing village two-hours drive from the capital Freetown.

At its height there were 35 players from across Sierra Leone living there and studying at its school.

The foundation also launched a youth league that helped about 2,400 boys and girls.

A statement from Bellamy’s solicitor said: “Mr Bellamy has recently appointed a new legal team to investigate any irregularities in the management of his financial affairs. These investigations are ongoing and we therefore cannot comment further at this stage on any specific allegation.

“We are assessing these concerns to determine what, if any role there might be for the Commission. As part of our engagement, we are reminding trustees of their duty to file their outstanding financial accounts.

“Trustees must account to the public and donors for their income and expenditure, and the failure to do so may give rise to concerns about the governance and administration of a charity.”

The paper reported only two years of accounts have been registered since the academy opened in September 2010.

The foundation was registered as a charity in June 2011 and the first accounts submitted in March 2014, the Times reported.

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