DAR ES SALAAM, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Monday awarded 26 players of Taifa Stars, their national football team, a plot each for building houses after they qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 1980 following a 3-0 win over Uganda on Sunday.
Speaking shortly before he hosted a luncheon to the players at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, the President said the victory made Tanzania proud.
He instructed Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa to ensure that arrangements were made to allocate the players with the plots in the capital of Dodoma.
Magufuli also awarded a housing plot to Hassan Mwakinyo, a Tanzanian boxer who knocked out Sergio Gonzalez from Argentina in an international bout in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Saturday night.
Other beneficiaries of the presidential award were former national team players Leodgar Tenga and Peter Tino who were among players that made Tanzania to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nation finals in Nigeria in 1980 for the first time.
The President appealed to the players to work hard in preparations for the AFCON finals to be held in Egypt in June and July.
"If you will play the way you played yesterday (Sunday) Tanzania will reach afar in the finals," said Magufuli.
He also hailed Tanzanians for their solidarity in supporting the team when they played against Uganda, appealing to them to extend their solidarity in other undertakings such as development.
"If we display such solidarity in other sectors, our country will make great achievements," said President Magufuli.
Nigerian coach Emmanuel Amuneke guided Tanzania to stun Group L leaders for the historic victory in front of home fans at the Chinese-built 60,000 capacity National Stadium.
On March 18, Tanzanian Parliament Speaker Job Ndugai praised Simba Sports Club for making it to the quarterfinals of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League, saying the feat has made the country's football to be known across Africa.
On March 16, Zambian Clatous Chama scored in the final minute to secure the Dar es Salaam outfit a 2-1 home victory over AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a second place in Group D behind Al Ahly of Egypt.
With the victory, Simba became the first Tanzanian club to reach the CAF Champions League quarterfinals.