A furious Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has lashed out the country's national team Taifa Stars following their 2-o defeat to Senegal in their first match at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The president's harsh criticism comes exactly two months after he gifted each of the national team players with cash rewards of Sh500,000 and parcels of land for qualifying for the biennial continental tournament for the first time in 39 years.
But on Sunday, the Taifa Stars gave a tame performance on the same day and venue where neigbours Kenya later fell to Algeria by an identical scoreline.
In a recorded speech, which has gone viral on social media, President Magufuli wondered how Tanzania, a county with a population of more than 50 million people, lost to a nation of only 2 million people.
"Kwa nchi kama Tanzania yenye idadi ya watu zaidi ya milioni hamsini na tano, mnakwenda kufungwa na timu yenye idadi ya watu milioni mbili. Kwa sababu ni lazima mjiulize, katika milioni hamsini na tano tumekosa wachezaji kumi na moja... wa kuweza kuliwakilisha hili taifa katika huu mchezo muhimu unaopendwa duniani," Magufuli posed.
Taifa Stars' next fixture in the tournament will be against Kenya on Thursday night (kickoff 11pm Kenyan time) in what will be a must-win match for both teams.