The Gay Football Supporters’ Network (GFSN) has praised a new campaign on tackling homophobia in football by encouraging players to wear rainbow laces.

“The Right Behind Gay Footballers” project by gay rights charity Stonewall and bookmaker Paddy Power is focused on changing attitudes in football rather than urging players to come out and wants players to wear the laces in games on Saturday and Sunday.

GFSN teams will be joining in too by wearing rainbow coloured laces during games in the amateur GFSN League this weekend.

GFSN Chair Chris Basiurski said: “Footballers are admired for their bravery on the pitch and we encourage them to show equal bravery off the pitch by standing up for their gay teammates. We’re delighted to see a high profile anti-homophobia in football campaign with backing from a major company. This campaign challenges people to say they don’t have a problem with openly gay football players and we can all work together to eradicate homophobia from the beautiful game.”

Queens Park Ranger star Joey Barton has announced his support by tweeting photos of himself wearing rainbow laces and says “people’s sexuality shouldn’t be an issue” in the game.