Burnsy sent me this story in an e-mail this morning. The text read:
In case you want to write about this. I tried, but UGH
If you haven’t heard about this yet, Friday’s update on the official Asian Football Confederation website published “UAE to take cautious approach,” an article about the United Arab Emirates national team trying to qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. In the third paragraph, the team (also known as “Al-Abyad”) is refereed to as, “”Al-Abyad or Sand Monkeys”.
The best (read: only) good part of this story is the explanation as to how “Sand Monkeys” made it onto the AFC site as an official translation of Al-Abyad. It wasn’t because the AFC is prejudiced against people from the Middle East … it’s because in 2012 people are still f**king plagiarizing Wikipedia and not stopping to go back over what they just copy-pasted to make sure it’s correct.
No, seriously. Again. Who knew that Lynn Hoppes wrote for the Asia Football Conference? The official apology:
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”.
It says the comment was due to an “error, which was mainly because of referral to a popular web-based encyclopedia” and it “was corrected immediately after it was noticed”.
The AFC said on Monday it was sorry for “any hurt this might have caused to the UAE Football Association and UAE football fans”. (via Wide World Of Sports)
As Burnsy sorta mentioned, editorializing on this is hopeless. You really don’t need a comedy sports blogger to type “calling people Sand Monkeys is a dumb idea, professional organization,” do you? At the same time, I don’t wanna just put this up without telling you what I think, so I’ll reiterate that soccer is the most hilariously racist thing going, and it’s telling that the most popular sport in the world is the one where they draw black players as apes and get kicked in the nuts for calling people the N-word.
“Al-Abyad” means “the whites,” by the way.
[website image grab via Who Ate All The Pies]