Cisse, a Muslim, is refusing to wear Newcastle kit branded with the logo of Wonga, a pay-day loan company, on religious and ethical grounds.
Under Sharia law, Muslims are instructed not to benefit from the lending of money – meaning Cisse’s beliefs are incompatible with a company that charges 5,853 per cent APR.
Newcastle were alerted to the problem in advance and when Cisse returned for pre-season training on Friday it is reported he was told to train alone in the club’s gym.
According to the Sunday Mirror: “Upon his return from international duties on Friday, Newcastle told Cisse to stay away from training until the matter was resolved. He turned up yesterday and it was then matters came to a head.
“The striker has offered to wear a charity-branded shirt rather than the logo of the club’s new sponsors.”
A solution is yet to be found to the impasse, but there are precedents for similar disputes elsewhere in the game.
In 2006, former Tottenham striker Frederic Kanoute was allowed to wear a Sevilla shirt without a sponsor when the Spanish club signed a sponsorship deal with a betting company.
- Society & Culture