Cisse could refuse to wear new Newcastle Wonga shirt

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse could refuse to wear a Toon shirt next season if the club are sponsored by payday loan company Wonga, reports The Mirror.

Newcastle are set to unveil their new shirt for the 2013-14 season with the loan company as their primary shirt sponsors, but the Senegal striker, who is a practicing Muslim, has aired his objections to the club on the basis of ethical and religious grounds.

What’s more, Cisse’s team mates Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa are also practicing Muslims, and could be set to support the striker in his stance.

While there is yet a solution to the problem being found, The Mirror also states that there is a precedence, with former Spurs striker Freddie Kanoute being permitted to wear an unbranded shirt in protest of 888.com, the primary shirt sponsors when he signed for Sevilla.

Terms of the player’s contract could determine Newcastle’s exact position with regards to what rights they have to force their players to wear the sponsor logo, though it is also understood that the club have proven themselves respectful towards their players’ religious beliefs in the past, even installing a prayer room at St. James’ Park.

Muslim pratices forbid any gain from lending or receiving money, with no interest added to Islamic bank accounts or mortgages.

Cisse has been linked with a move away from the North East in recent weeks, with Borussia Dortmund and Anzhi Makhachkala keen, but the Geordies are understandably reluctant to sell.

The news follows Bolton Wanderers’ decision earlier in the week to pull out of a sponsorship deal with QuickQuid, another payday loan company, following fan protests.

After a petition against the deal, which accrued some 4,500 signatures, the club are now sponsored by sustainable energy company FibrLec.

Wonga have, however, received approval from a large portion of Toon Army followers when they acquired the naming rights to the club’s home ground, then known as the Sports Direct Arena, instead opting to re-establish the St. James’ Park name and painting over a large Sports Direct logo on the stadium roof.

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