Papiss Cisse leaves Newcastle’s preseason tour over refusal to wear shirt sponsored by Wonga
After months of hinting at his displeasure over Newcastle’s decision to have payday lender Wonga as the club’s shirt sponsor next season, the BBC reports that Papiss Cisse has pulled out of the club’s preseason tour after refusing the wear the shirt on religious grounds.
From the BBC:
The Senegal striker, a Muslim, told club officials he was not prepared to promote the money-lending company.
But the 28-year-old did offer to wear an unbranded shirt or one bearing a charity logo instead.
It leaves Cisse’s future in doubt, with sources describing the relationship between the parties as “strained”.
Newcastle players Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko, who are also Muslim, are not joining Cisse in his stand. Islam forbids benefits from lending money (i.e. interest), which makes payday lenders like Wonga with their exorbitant interest rates that prey on the poor and disadvantaged especially flagrant offenders. Sissoko has already worn Newcastle’s Wonga sponsored shirt in their preseason opener against Motherwell.
Religious objections aside, English football clubs accepting payday lenders as shirt sponsors have come under fire recently. Bolton backed out of a two-year deal with QuickQuid after supporters protested and Sheffield Wednesday refused a “lucrative” offer from an unnamed company over fears of a similar reaction.