Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has left the club’s pre-season tour after refusing to wear the logo of new kit sponsors Wonga.com 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.”
Could the striker really move to a different club over this? Cisse doesn’t look ready to budge from his position, so it will be highly interesting to see what will happen in the coming weeks.
Newcastle’s deal with Wonga.com will bring in about £8 million annually for the Premier League club, so its unlikely Newcastle will appease Cisse’s wish to have it removed. Cisse’s teammates Cheick Tiote and Moussa Sissoko, also Muslim, have told the club they have no issue with wearing the sponsor’s logo.
However, there is some hope for Cisse, as British clubs have been more and more hesitant to use payday lenders as sponsors. Just last month, Bolton backed out of a deal with QuickQuid amid protests by local politicians and fans.