The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 has been a real rollercoaster for Egypt. It started when one member of their national team was accused of sexual harassment, and climaxed after its most famous player defended his teammate — despite the allegations.
But, those two events were followed by a spiraling down phenomenon after Egypt lost 1-0 against South Africa in a match that took place on Saturday. Within hours, the president of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), Hany Abu Rida, resigned after the elimination of the Pharaohs from the football tournament. Abu Rida also fired his technical team after the shock exit and Mexican coach Javier Aguirre - who's been training the team for less than a year - just hours after their defeat.
"This decision comes as a moral responsibility although the Football Association did not neglect its duties towards the national squad and offered complete financial and moral support to it," Abu Rida said.
Several members of the EFA have resigned in response to Abu Rida's request, several media outlets reported. Rida, however, will continue to be part of the AFCON's organizing committee till the end of the tournament.
On Saturday, Egypt was knocked out of the tournament after being defeated by South Africa. The North African nation was the AFCON's host this year, so it was expected to see famed footballer Mohamed Salah depart the Cairo International Stadium in tears.
Now, as for Abu Rida, he has led the EFA since 2016. In response to the sexual harassment allegations against one team player, Abu Rida decided to "dismiss Amr Warda from the team's camp after consulting with the team's technical and administrative staff to preserve the national team's state of discipline, focus and commitment."
After Warda released an apology video - that many deemed unconvincing - the association announced the player would be allowed to rejoin the squad. So, maybe their loss was karma playing its part in serving justice?
Whatever happened on the field was transmitted into a conversation on Twitter. Some were upset over Egypt's shock exit, others were quite ecstatic that South Africa won the match.
There was heavy criticism targeting many Egyptian footballers, including 26-year-old Mohamed Elneny. One man thought Egypt should strip Elneny of his citizenship for his performance. Talk about drama, right?