Soccer Aid organisers slammed as ‘tone deaf’ over lavish hotel party hours after Ukraine fundraiser


Soccer Aid organisers slammed as ‘tone deaf’ over lavish post-match party at five-star London hotel hours after the charity fundraiser where they urged the public to donate money for Ukraine

  •  Bash held at London’s exclusive five-star Nobu hotel at cost of tens of thousands
  •  Guests included Idris Elba, Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure and Liam Payne
  •  No public donations paid for party, which was funded by corporate sponsors

ORGANISERS of the Soccer Aid fundraiser have been blasted as ‘tone deaf’ after throwing a lavish showbiz party immediately after appealing for funds to help children hit by poverty, hunger and the war in Ukraine. 

Several of the celebrities who played in the charity game last Sunday were ‘shocked’ at the decision to hold the bash at London’s exclusive, five-star Nobu hotel at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds. 

Stars who attended included Idris Elba, Line Of Duty actress Vicky McClure, One Direction star Liam Payne and the former England footballer Teddy Sheringham. 

As DJs played, guests were treated to free drinks until the early hours of Monday.

Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure was among celebrity guests at the lavish Soccer Aid party, which has been slammed as 'tone deaf' for being held just hours after a fundraiser for Ukraine

Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure was among celebrity guests at the lavish Soccer Aid party, which has been slammed as ‘tone 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

Idris Elba and his wife Sabrina also attended the after-party at the exclusive Nobu hotel

Liam Payne was spotted leaving the Soccer Aid bash in the early hours of Monday morning

Liam Payne was spotted leaving the Soccer Aid bash in the early hours of Monday morning

Iain Stirling, the narrator on 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 screened on ITV, with the match interspersed with films urging viewers to donate. 

In one, actor Damian Lewis shared the stories of Ukrainian children who desperately need help. 

Former TOWIE cast member James Argent attended the party funded by corporate sponsors

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 party

Teddy Sheringham and Kristina Andrioti were spotted among the guests at the lavish party

Actor James Nesbit was seen at The Nobu Hotel just hours after the Soccer Aid fundraiser

Actor James Nesbit was seen at The Nobu Hotel just hours after the Soccer Aid fundraiser

No public donations went towards the party, which was funded by corporate sponsors. 

But some celebrities questioned whether their backing might have been better directed towards the charity’s work rather than picking up the tab for a bash at a venue where cocktails cost up to £17 each. 

One source said: ‘There are some players who took part in the game who were genuinely stunned that afterwards there was such a big do that clearly cost so much money. 

‘When there are people who have been made homeless in Ukraine, it all seems quite tone deaf. 

‘You have to wonder if people took the time to think about where the money was coming from and if it could have been put to better use. 

‘A big deal was made about raising money for those affected by the war so it seems pretty incongruous to have a big celebrity drink-up while that is happening.’ 

Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore and husband Iain Stirling stayed until around 4am

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 free at Champneys, a spa hotel where rooms typically cost more than £160 per night, before the match. 

The cost was again met by sponsors, not from public donations. The match, which was played at the London Stadium home of West Ham, has so far raised £15.6million for Unicef. 

Sponsors include JD Sports, Primark, delivery firm Evri and Nobu itself. It is understood the party was arranged by Cheshire-based events organiser Julie Perry, who has worked on the weddings of several Manchester United players. 

Soccer Aid last night said the party was held to thank those who had taken part for free. 

A spokesman said: ‘One hundred per cent of Soccer Aid donations go to support the vital work of Unicef. 

‘The party that followed the conclusion of the match and the organisation of it was funded entirely by third-party sponsors.’ 

Andriy Shevchenko and Usain Bolt of World XI lift the prize after their 4-1 win on penalties

Andriy Shevchenko and Usain Bolt of World XI lift the prize after their 4-1 win on penalties

Last Sunday's Soccer Aid match, played at West Ham, has so far raised £15.6million for Unicef

Last Sunday’s Soccer Aid match, played at West Ham, has so far raised £15.6million for Unicef

Launched in 2006, Soccer Aid has raised more than £75million. In last weekend’s match, a World XI managed by Arsene Wenger defeated an England coached by Harry Redknapp in a penalty shootout after the sides played out a 2-2 draw in normal time. 

Payne captained the England side with retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt due to lead the opponents. 

But just before kick-off Bolt made the touching gesture of handing the captain’s armband to Ukrainian football legend Andriy Shevchenko. 

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