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SBD Global/September 20, 2013/International Football

Football Notes: J.League Approves Adoption Of New Two-Stage Format Starting In '15

Japan's 20-year-old J.League will revert to a two-stage season in '15, hoping to lure back spectators and sponsors, despite protests from fans and some club owners. The J.League's board of directors formally approved a new two-stage format Wednesday (J.League). ... The "rainbow laces" campaign to kick homophobia out of football "has come under fire from another gay rights group who have criticised its slogan 'Right Behind Gay Players' for being a 'sexualised innuendo.'" The campaign "is being run by gay rights charity Stonewall and bookmakers Paddy Power who have sent sets of multi-coloured laces to all professional clubs in England and Scotland asking players to wear them in support this weekend." However, the group "Football v Homophobia" said that "it withdrew support for the campaign after the bookmaker refused to change the tag line" (London TELEGRAPH, 9/19).
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