Jun 14, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT
A few days ago, Papiss Cisse apparently told Newcastle United not only that he wished to be one of the highest paid players at the club, but that he would also not wear next year’s kit with new sponsor Wonga.
Cisse, a practising Muslim, cited Sharia law that states one must not benefit from lending money to others. Wonga is an online lending company headquartered in London.
The Northumbria police (Newcastle’s police force) have now gotten involved after some fans responded angrily on Cisse’s Facebook page with racial abuse. “We have been made aware of abusive comments made on Facebook,” said Northumbria Chief Supt Dianne Winship. “Northumbria Police take all reports of abuse very seriously and enquiries are being conducted.”
The irony of the situation is that the new sponsorship deal with Wonga will bring in significantly more money than their previous deal with Virgin Money. That extra money could be used to make improvements to the squad – for example, to improve Cisse’s contract.
The Senegalese international arrived at the club in the January 2012 transfer window and signed a 5-1/2 year deal.
There is a precedent on a situation like this. Islamic striker Frederic Kanoute was allowed to wear an unbranded shirt after he refused to wear the logo for the 888.com gambling website on religious grounds when he played for Spanish side Seville. However, the Malian agreed to wear the shirt when the company agreed to remove him from any and all publicity campaigns.
Teammates Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote are both practicing Muslims as well, but neither have come forward yet to voice any displeasure to the kit deal with Wonga.
The Senegalese striker scored 13 goals in 43 appearances last season in all competitions for Newcastle, but his scoring rate improved greatly when Demba Ba was sold in January.
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Jun 30, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT
The Chelsea legend has left Stamford Bridge with a heavy heart after 11 years of success.
Jun 30, 2015, 10:43 AM EDT
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Jun 30, 2015, 9:55 AM EDT
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Jun 30, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT
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Jun 30, 2015, 7:52 AM EDT
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Jun 29, 2015, 11:25 PM EDT
A huge blow for Mexico as an injury will keep Mexico’s best defender off their Gold Cup squad.
Jun 29, 2015, 10:26 PM EDT
Ronaldinho is on the move again, and (thankfully) he’s not coming to MLS.
Jun 29, 2015, 9:23 PM EDT
Chile will play for their first Copa America title on Saturday. A chance to make history at home.
Jun 29, 2015, 8:31 PM EDT
Guus Hiddink is out as Dutch national team manager after less than a year in charge. Who do they turn to now, ahead of EURO 2016?
Jun 29, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT
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Jun 29, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT
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Jun 29, 2015, 5:10 PM EDT
A goal and an assist — finally a dominant performance — in the weekend’s biggest rivalry game earns Darlington Nagbe POTW honors.
Jun 29, 2015, 4:27 PM EDT
“Rivalry Week” is in the books, and a number of derby day conquerors find themselves on the last MLS Team of the Week.
Jun 29, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT
Rog talks with the USWNT’s Meghan Klingenberg about the team’s lockdown defense, her karate training, and living with Jeff Van Gundy’s family.
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Jun 29, 2015, 3:07 PM EDT
Here’s what’s on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday as the USSF tournament stays regional.
Jun 29, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT
Toronto FC and L.A. will kick off at 10:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Galaxy have won two of their last three matches.
Jun 29, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT
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Jun 29, 2015, 12:52 PM EDT
Guangzhou Evergrande have added a big name to their title charge in the Chinese Super League.
Jun 29, 2015, 11:39 AM EDT
Many if not all neutral fans expect Argentina and Chile to make it through their Copa America semifinals en route to a border battle final.
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