Tanzanian President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli has gifted each of the Taifa Stars players a parcel of land in Dodoma following their 3-0 win over neighbours Uganda; a fete that secured them a slot in this year’s AFCON finals.
Sunday’s historic win ended Tanzania's four-decade wait to grace Africa’s premier football competition courtesy of Simon Msuva, Erasto Nyoni and Aggrey Morris strikes and the tough leader was in high moods as he invited the entire squad to State House in Dar es Salaam on Monday.
Tanzania finished second in their Group with eight points, five off leaders Uganda who heading into the Sunday game, had already qualified for this year’s edition of the tournament, Lesotho and Cape Verde who finished third and fourth respectively bowing out much to the delight of President Magufuli.
“These players have touched me, and on behalf of all the Tanzanians, I have decided to give them a small reward. We will give you pieces of land to build your houses. You deserve it, because who have earned our country a lot of respect,” he said.
In his lunch-time address, the head of state was keen to point out that his regime is focused on ensuring the betterment of the welfare of the country’s sport ambassadors, calling on the players to make good use of the reward to avoid a poor lifestyle that haunts many sportsmen in the continent upon retirement.
“I believe you will use the little earnings you get to develop those pieces of land so that you don’t lead funny lifestyles when you retire,” he advised.
Moments after Sunday’s win, a video went viral on social media platforms, the President who was casually dressed, celebrating the win right from his living room and speaking highly of his national team’s display against the Uganda Cranes.
“I am very happy. Today Taifa Stars have brought respect to our nation. Taifa Stars hoiyee!! Tanzania hoiyee!! Today I saw real football, not like before. Those were great goals. We are on the right track,” he celebrated.
Tanzania is the fourth East African nation to qualify for the 2019 AFCON finals slated for June.
Uganda led the way as Burundi made the cut for the first time in history and Kenya returning to the continental scene after a 15-year long wait.