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Football: Rwanda's leader Kagame slams Arsenal after loss to Brentford

Football: Rwanda's leader Kagame slams Arsenal after loss to Brentford

Rwandan President Paul Kagame looks on as he attends a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Presidential Palace in Kigali, Rwanda, on May 27, 2021. (File photo: Reuters/Jean Bizimana)

KIGALI, Rwanda: Rwanda's leader Paul Kagame on Saturday (Aug 14) unloaded on his beloved Arsenal after they opened the Premier League season with a loss to newcomers Brentford, saying Gunners fans deserve better than "mediocrity".

The veteran president and long-time Arsenal supporter tweeted a tirade after Brentford returned to their first English top-flight season for 74 years with a 2-0 win over the Gunners on Friday evening.

Kagame, whose country is an official sponsor of Arsenal, said that Brentford deserved the win but that the Gunners had soul-searching to do.

"The game itself aside Arsenal and the fans don't deserve to kind of get used to this....NO!!!" the president tweeted in a three-part post-match screed to his 2.4 million followers early on Saturday.

"I say this as one of the big fans of Arsenal. The change has taken to long to come!"

Kagame, a former rebel leader who has ruled Rwanda since the aftermath of the genocide in 1994, hammered club management over planning and questioned decision-making around the acquisition of new players.

"We just must NOT excuse or Accept mediocrity. A team has to be built with purpose to win win win. So that when we lose....it was not to be expected!" Kagame said.

"I am sure we all know on whose shoulders the heaviest burden rests. I hope they know too or even accept it!!!"

Rwanda became the official tourism partner of Arsenal in 2018, with players sporting a "Visit Rwanda" logo on their shirt sleeves during matches.

The three-year deal was aimed at drawing tourists and investors to the tiny east African nation, and burnishing its reputation as a safe, sought-after destination.

Kagame often expresses his opinions about the club's performances during summits and on social media.

Source: AFP/kg

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