Zamalek club president Mortada Mansour launched a scathing attack on former Ahly and Egypt star Mohamed Abou-Treika on Saturday, describing him as a "terrorist" and a "devil" following the latter's statements in support of Zamalek 'Ultras' fan groups.
There is no love lost between Zamalek's incumbent chief and his club's ardent Ultras fans, and the relationship deterioriated further in recent weeks after he called on authorities to designate the group a "terrorist organisation."
Abou-Treika, who retired from professional football in late 2013, posted on his Twitter account lauding top-flight club Wadi Degla's statement in support of the Ultras.
"You're not a saint, you're a devil," Mansour said about Abou-Treika during a news conference.
"You endorsed (former president) Mohamed Morsi in the previous elections -- you're a terrorist," he said.
"Do you know who Morsi is? The man who killed our sons in front of the presidential palace, the man who issued a constitutional decree giving himself unfettered powers, the man who turned out to be a traitor and a foreign agent," said Mansour.
Former president Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, was deposed by the army in July 2013 following mass protests against his one-year rule. He is currently standing trial on charges of inciting murder and of espionage.
Abou-Treika, popularly believed to be a member of the now-outlawed Brotherhood movement, has also come under fierce criticism of late for his political affiliations.
Ahly deny Mansour claims
Mansour, the head of the EFA's Club Committee, also went as far as calling for life imprisonment for whoever proved to be affiliated with Ultras groups.
Wadi Degla however issued a statement announcing their endorsement of the Ultras – whom the club described as the source of "happiness and enthusiasm in the stands."
Abou-Treika, a fan favourite who is known for his support for the Ultras throughout his playing career, hailed Degla's statement, adding that Ahly would "be driven by no-one" -- a response to a claim by Mansour that the African champions back his call to brand Ultras terrorist groups.
Ahly were quick to categorically deny Mansour's assertion.
An all-time fan favourite
Treika's recent Ultras-supporting statement hasn't come as a surprise for many, with his decision to pull out of an Egypt Super Cup game back in 2012 still fresh in many minds.
The midfield marvel announced unexpectedly that he would sit out Ahly's Super Cup game against ENPPI in support of the Ultras fans, who vehemently rejected the resumption of domestic football months following the deadly Port Said post-match killings in 2012.
The hardcore fans said that the reason behind their stance was that domestic football, already suspended in the wake of the 2012 Port Said riot in which 74 Ahly fans died, should not resume until justice is served for their slain comrades.
Abou-Treika was the only Ahly player to announce his endorsement of the Ultras' cause and pull out of the Super Cup squad, eventually prompting his club's board to sanction him heavily.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)