AFC apologises for making 'sand monkeys' comment towards the United Arab Emirates

The governing body is sorry for an offensive remark made towards the Al-Abyad that appeared on its official website, claiming it was "an editorial mistake"
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has apologised for calling the United Arab Emirates team "sand monkeys" on its official website.

An AFC Cup-related article containing the offensive term angered UAE officials, as well as parts of the Arab community, after it was published by the Malaysia-based organisation on October 12.

A statement on their official website said: "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 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 encyclopedia 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."

The next Asian Cup is taking place in Australia in 2015.