Soccer Aid organizers have been slammed as ‘deaf’ over a lavish hotel party hours after fundraising in Ukraine
The ORGANIZERS of the Soccer Aid fundraiser have been branded ‘deaf’ after throwing a lavish showbiz party immediately after asking for funds to help children affected by poverty, hunger and war in Ukraine.
Several of the celebrities who took part in the charity match last Sunday were “shocked” by the decision to hold the party at London’s exclusive five-star Nobu Hotel at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.
Among the stars in attendance were Idris Elba, Line Of Duty actress Vicky McClure, One Direction star Liam Payne and former England footballer Teddy Sheringham.
While the DJs played, guests were treated to free drinks until the early hours of Monday.
Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure was among the celebrity guests at the lavish Soccer Aid party, which has been described as ‘deaf’ for being held just hours after a fundraiser for Ukraine.
Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina also attended the after-party at the exclusive Nobu Hotel
Liam Payne was spotted leaving the Soccer Aid party in the early hours of Monday morning
Iain Stirling, the narrator of Love Island, was also spotted leaving the party with his wife Laura Whitmore, who presents the ITV2 show.
Soccer Aid, which raises money for Unicef, was shown on ITV, with the match interspersed with footage inviting viewers to donate.
In one, actor Damian Lewis shared the stories of Ukrainian children who are in desperate need of help.
Former TOWIE cast member James Argent attended the party funded by corporate sponsors
Teddy Sheringham and Kristina Andrioti were spotted among the guests at the lavish bash
Actor James Nesbit was seen at the Nobu Hotel just hours after the Soccer Aid fundraiser
No public donations were made to the party, which was funded by corporate sponsors.
But some celebrities have questioned whether their support could have been better directed towards the work of the charity rather than paying the tab for a party at a venue where cocktails cost up to £17 each.
A source said: “Some players who took part in the game were really amazed that there was such a big deal afterwards that clearly cost so much money.”
“When there are people who have found themselves homeless in Ukraine, it all seems quite tone deaf.
“You have to wonder if people took the time to think about where the money came from and if it could have been put to better use.
“A big deal has been done to raise money for those affected by the war, so it seems quite incongruous to have a big celebrity drink while this is happening.”
Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore and husband Iain Stirling stayed until around 4am
The Mail on Sunday can also reveal that staff involved in the event stayed for free at Champneys, a spa hotel where rooms typically cost upwards of £160 a night, before the game.
The cost was again covered by sponsors, not public donations. The game, which was played at West Ham’s London stadium, has so far raised £15.6million for Unicef.
Sponsors include JD Sports, Primark, delivery company Evri and Nobu itself. It is understood the party was hosted by Cheshire-based event planner Julie Perry, who has worked on the weddings of several Manchester United players.
Last night Soccer Aid said the party was thrown to thank those who participated for free.
A spokesperson said: “One hundred per cent of Soccer Aid donations go to support the vital work of Unicef.”
“The celebration following the conclusion of the match and its organization were entirely financed by third-party sponsors.”
World XI’s Andriy Shevchenko and Usain Bolt lift the prize after 4-1 penalty shootout victory
Last Sunday’s Soccer Aid match, played at West Ham, has so far raised £15.6m for Unicef
Launched in 2006, Soccer Aid has raised over £75m. In last weekend’s match, a World XI led by Arsene Wenger beat an England coached by Harry Redknapp in a penalty shootout after the sides played out a 2-2 draw in regulation time.
Payne captained the England team with retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt expected to lead the opposition.
But just before kick-off, Bolt made the touching gesture of handing the captain’s armband to Ukrainian soccer legend Andriy Shevchenko.