Cameroonian born football agent Joe Kamga was the man tasked with spending almost half of the Sh244 million the government set aside for Harambee Stars preparations at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Nation Sport has established.
But he is nowhere to be found to account for the money, even as Football Kenya Federation (FKF) insisted only he can break down the numbers.
The Belgian was paid Sh106 million by FKF following a curious decision to have the men’s national team pitch camp in France to prepare for the bi-annual continental tournament in North Africa.
Because Sebastian Migne, who was the coach at the time, is also from France.
Nation Sport has been reliably informed that FKF began dealing with Kamga in 2016, as soon as Nick Mwendwa assumed the presidency
It was in that year that the women’s senior national team qualified for the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Cameroon and Kamga was identified by the federation as the contact person who would ensure the team’s comfort in Limbe where the matches were to be held.
Still, there was no scientific evidence suggesting that camping in France would aid Stars to perform better in Egypt considering the difference in climatic conditions between the two countries at the time.
Kenya played three games in Egypt, losing to finalists Senegal and Algeria, before beating Tanzania in her group matches.
The team was eliminated at the first stage and President Uhuru Kenyatta is on record suggesting it should perform better next time.
In contrast to Kenya’s decision to camp in France, tournament winners Algeria opted for the cheaper Dubai where the weather is quite similar to that of Egypt.
Tanzania camped in Egypt and played in two friendly matches over there. This was also a cheaper option.
Meanwhile, the Sh244 million handed to FKF was approved by both the Ministry of Sports and the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund.
It has emerged that Kamga was single-sourced for the French job on Migne’s recommendation when government rules insist on tendering and competitive bidding where public funds are involved.
“We hired Kamga and his agency to help us organise all accommodation, training venues and pre-tournament friendlies. He handled everything about the national teams’ stay in France. He is the only one who can give you a breakdown on how money was spent,” said FKF chief executive Barry Otieno.
A shrewd operator and smooth negotiator, Kamga appears to have warmed his way into the hearts of not only FKF, but several African football federations.
He burst into the limelight in Kenya after sealing the deal that saw former Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne leave the Republic of Congo and take over the Sh1.7 million-a-month job last year.
Kamga was also said to be the brains behind a four-nation tournament in India and in which Kenya competed in 2018, where Stars played in a series of friendly matches against the hosts, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei. FKF is reported to have pocketed some money as appearance fees.
Through his OneGoalPro Agency, Kamga received Sh43 million to book the national team’s accommodation and training facility in Marcousises, France.
He also received a further Sh63 million to organise the matches against DR Congo and Madagascar in Madrid and Paris respectively, after The Gambia opted out at the last minute.
“Those figures are either inflated or there are some expenses that are hidden in there. A friendly match with teams like Madagascar and DRC cannot amount to that figure,” a seasoned match agent told Nation Sport.
OneGoalPro is a sports consulting firm offering a wide range of solutions for football associations, club and sports professionals based in Dudelange, Luxembourg.
Besides being the face of the organisation in Africa, Kamga is listed as a director and is in charge of football and finance management in the company.
“Migne insisted he had worked with Kamga before and that he trusted he could deliver,” added Otieno, who added that Migne had threatened to resign of the training camp in France was not secured on time.
Efforts to contact Kamga for comment bore no fruits, as emails to his official address and messages sent to his personal line were unanswered by press time.
Nation Sport has also established that Kamga was in charge of Madagascar and DR Congo preps, which means only he knows how much he was paid by these countries to do the same job.
“We are impressed not only with the team’s preparation in France but also with the logistics and planning around it,” FKF president Nick Mwendwa praised Kamga in a statement in July.
He is said to be well-connected with his fluency in French, English, German and Dutch coming in handy.
And in a separate deal, FKF has also been taken to task for spending a whopping Sh9 million to purchase kits from sports apparel makers Macron.
The deal was specifically for the period surrounding the Africa Cup of Nations leading to speculation as to why such a huge amount was used to kit the national team for less than six weeks.
“For every two kits Macron makes for the national team, FKF will be getting one for free,” said Mwendwa.
Source: Daily Nation