In the past few days, Egyptians have been furious with the way the Egypt Football Association (EFA) has responded to footballer Mohamed Salah's "illogical" requests regarding security measures at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
A player so great he has won the Premier League's 'Player of the Year' title and the 'Golden Boot' for the 2017/2018 season. In addition, he made it to 'The Best FIFA Men's Player' shortlist this year. Putting aside his countless professional achievements, he has also won the hearts of millions around the world, especially Egyptians.
During the country's elections this year, his popularity proved to be particularly strong after more than one million nationals reportedly struck out the names of other presidential candidates to cast their ballot for Mohamed Salah.
So, when EFA members didn't treat the Liverpool F.C. forward the way they should, people got upset ... as in, really upset.
The EFA had used Salah's photo across the national team's plane without permission and then ignored his complaints regarding the "violation of image rights in the run-up to the World Cup".
The 26-year-old was left at risk of legal action against him by Vodafone - who he has a multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with - as the plane was sponsored by rival telecommunications firm WE.
Another incident soon followed whereby Khaled Lateif, a senior official with the EFA, threatened Salah's family using his mother as bait.
"I'd like to remind Mo Salah that your mother is still in Egypt. You are abroad and can do as you wish. Those who understand, understand," Lateif tweeted just before his account got temporarily suspended.
People didn't take it well... at all
"You want to gain fame on the account of FIFA too?"
Egypt's comedy king, Mohamed Henedy, made sure to smoothly slide his sarcasm on Twitter and show his support to Salah.
Soon after, Khaled Lateif gained back his suspended account and replied to Henedy with this:
"We deleted all the offensive tweets targeting Mohamed Salah that were posted by a third party using my account without my knowledge. So we urge Salah to withdraw the report submitted to both FIFA and EFA. We pledge not to let such inconveniences happen again. Signed by Khaled Lateif, Magdy Abd El Gany, and Karam Kurdy."
From there onwards, things got a bit messy
The founding member of Al Masreyeen Al Ahrrar party in Egypt, Naguib Sawiris, called for the members of the EFA to resign following a series of hateful tweets targeting Salah.
Soon enough, a hashtag demanding the EFA to resign went viral on the social media platform, with thousands of angry Egyptian tweeps defending their unofficial president, Mo Salah.
Some targeted Khaled Lateif personally
While many pointed out the irony between footballers' humility and EFA members' snobbery
Difference between economy and business class
"Association of shame"
"You will never walk alone"
Many reminded the EFA of why and how Salah got this famous
EFA members responded to the tweets they received...
Magdy Abd El Gany, a senior member of the EFA, called Salah a "pig" in a tweet sent out on Monday. He then sarcastically apologized, saying:
"I would like to apologize to Mohamed Salah. He shouldn't take this seriously, it was a joke. We deleted all the tweets so that he wouldn't be sad. Please withdraw the reports because it's not okay for you to report sports icons like myself and Hany Abou Rida and other members, because FIFA could end the EFA. Those who understand, understand."
And then sent this...
"Captain Khaled, I didn't expect for Mohamed Salah to be this popular. Man, 90 million Egyptians have cussed us, with not even one tweet thanking us [EFA]. We work day and night volunteering for our country, and I was the one who helped Egypt reach the World Cup in 1990. We voiced our opinion in a good manner. And then we have Salah's fans cussing our father and mother?"
Captain Magdy Abd El Gany:
3- EFA member