The AFC reportedly translated the UAE team’s nickname ‘Al Abyad’ as ‘Sand Monkeys’. The correct translation of the name is ‘The Whites’.
In a statement on the UAE Football Association’s website, Yousuf Abdulla, secretary general of the UAE Football Association, expressed his disgust
regarding the language used on the official AFC website.
“The FA will refer the matter to our legal department to address the AFC regarding this unfortunate affair, which reveals the racist attitudes of some of the AFC officials from the eastern part of the continent towards the countries from the western region,” he said.
He continued: “This is not acceptable and is evidence of disrespect towards others. It furthermore reconfirms
that there are racist strands that have surfaced to serve their limited personal interests.”
The secretary general urged the AFC to apologise as soon as possible. The comments posted on the AFC
website caused anger online from UAE football fans who urged the UAE Football Association to take legal steps
and make a case against the AFC.
An Emirati man on a football blog on social networking site facebook posted: “The AFC must be punished and have
their website shut down for this offence against UAE.” Another facebook user wrote: “Monkey for most Asia people is an icon of speed and smartness. I think this is the reason for the problem.”