Muslim footballer Papiss Cisse may be forced to quit Newcastle United because of a row about the club’s new sponsorship deal with payday loan firm Wonga.
The Senegalese striker, who is estimated to earn in the region of £40,000 a week, trained on his own on his return from his summer break last week after refusing to wear the branded training kit, as well as the match day shirt, because it is against his religious beliefs.
Under some interpretations of Shariaw law, Muslims must not benefit from lending money. Interest is not paid on Islamic bank accounts or added to mortgages.
Former West Ham striker Frederic Kanoute – also a Muslim – was allowed by Sevilla to wear an unbranded shirt while they were sponsored by gambling company 888.com.
Newcastle signed a £24million deal with Wonga to replace Virgin Money as Newcastle’s sponsors last year.
The move provoked anger with some fans who were unhappy with the club being sponsored by a company which charges up to 5,853 per cent annual interest on short term loans.
Cisse has offered to wear charity-branded kit to resolve the dispute but that proposal has so far been rejected.