World of Sport

AFC sorry for calling UAE football team ‘sand monkeys’

World of Sport

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The Asian Football Confederation has been forced to apologise after referring to the UAE football team as 'sand monkeys' on their official website.

The AFC got the nickname from Wikipedia but it instantly caused offence to the UAE who said the nickname was racist.

The UAE released a statement saying: "We express our strong resentment over the use of this bad description by the AFC website.

"What happened is unacceptable and shows disrespect to others. It is a proof of racist attitudes that are starting to surface."

The UAE team are usually referred to as "Al-Abyad", or the whites, because of the colour of their shirts.

They demanded "a quick official apology," and were duly granted that by the embarrassed AFC who admitted they lifted the nickname off the internet.

The AFC's statement read: "The AFC apologises for an editorial mistake in which the UAE National Team was inadvertently referred to by an inaccurate nickname on the AFC's official website www.the-afc.com in the article 'UAE to take cautious approach' dated 12 October 2012."

"The error, which was mainly because of referral to a popular web-based encyclopaedia by the concerned editor, was corrected immediately after it was noticed.

"The AFC would like to apologise for any hurt this might have caused to the UAE Football Association and UAE football fans."

"The UAE FA are one of the AFC's valued Member Associations and the AFC will continue to extensively cover the UAE National Team and UAE League activities."

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