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Phil Brown’s Hull City survived by the skin of their teeth last season and the bookies don’t fancy their chances of staying up in 2009/10 – Simon Hopper analyses the relegation contenders.

Japan’s J-League has launched an investigation into Tokyo Verdy striker Leandro’s claim that an opponent had racially abused him.

Leandro was booked for protesting too little injury time had been played in the match between Verdy and Ventforet Kofu.

The Brazilian then claimed Kofu defender Arata Sugiyama had called him a “chimpanzee” in Portuguese.

The J-League confirmed that they were conducting an investigation into the 28-year-old striker’s comments.

“He says a Kofu player called him a monkey,” Verdy manager Takuya Takagi told Asahi newspaper.

Sugiyama, who is also alleged to have waved his arms in the air in an apparent ape-like gesture, has denied making any remarks to Leandro.

Phil Brown’s Hull City survived by the skin of their teeth last season and the bookies don’t fancy their chances of staying up in 2009/10 – Simon Hopper analyses the relegation contenders.

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