When Papiss Cisse joined Newcastle United from SC Freiburg in 2012 and got off to a lightning start that helped propel Newcastle into 6th. It seemed that Newcastle had found the great partnership up front (Ba & Cisse) that they have long been awaiting since the days of Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand.
A year later and Demba Ba has left for Chelsea and Papiss Cisse is striking based upon the club’s sponsorship. If this wasn’t concerning enough for Newcastle fans, how about the potential that your next best striker is Shola Ameobi? I know it sounds pretty terrible.
To the uneducated, this seems like an excuse to just get a transfer away from Newcastle. However for those who have been educated on Muslim finance (a very interesting subject) it is a reasonable request. Islam forbids simply lending money out for interest, which is exactly what Wonga does. Pay day loan companies take advantage of people who are in a vulnerable financial position by offering them loans without any financial background checks to see if they can afford them.
So what’s the problem? Well as a Muslim Papiss Cisse feels that he would be going against his faith and he is unwilling to do so, which in my opinion is fair enough. I have sympathies for Cisse being put in this situation and respect his decision to refuse to wear the shirt with the sponsor on it.
I hear some people saying that last season Newcastle played with Virgin Money on their kit, another organisation which benefits from the use of interest, so surely Cisse took offence to this? It is a fair point, but what Wonga do is take advantage of people’s requirement for money and that is all they do, whereas Virgin Money help people by giving them money allowing them to purchase things they couldn’t afford without their help (mortgages and such).
I felt sorry for Cisse, he was being victamised by Newcastle for not being willing to play with the kit’s sponsor. He was left behind from the tour and forced to train on his own. I’m sure that anyone who is sensible had sympathies with Cisse and the situation he found himself in. That was until he was caught in a casino gambling.
For those of you who don’t know, Muslim’s are not allowed to be involved with gambling, it is seen as unethical. So it begs the question of ‘how can the man who follows his religion to the extent that he is unwilling to wear a sponsorship, because it is against his beliefs, be found in a casino gambling which is also against his beliefs?’ The answer is quite simple, Papiss Cisse is a hypocrite.
Cisse has picked what parts of his beliefs to follow to suit himself, he has decided that he wants to leave Newcastle (for what ever reason) and has used the Wonga sponsorship as his reason for doing so.
Cisse’s agent came out and said that Papiss had only been watching and not actually placing bets. Well if you look at the picture (it’s at the top of the post) you will seethat there is nobody sitting near Cisse, there are chips placed to bet in front of him and to the two positions next to him (probably his) and he has cupped in his hands what very much looks as chips. Now who knows, maybe he is saving the seat for a friend, and maybe he is protecting the chips just in case someone steals them, but I think we all know what he is doing.
It is then unsurprising that today it was revealed that the Cisse and Newcastle shirt sponsorship conflict has been resolved, and Cisse has decided that he will wear the shirt after all.
Problem solved, now Cisse can go back to banging in the goals for Newcastle on a weekly basis and all will be forgotten. Well I’m not so sure.
It is clear that Cisse used the issue of the sponsorship as a way of forcing a transfer without asking for a transfer request (probably would have lost his loyalty bonus). Religion is always a sensitive issue and Cisse has tried to use this to his own advantage, which is sad.
You have also got to wonder whether Newcastle will actually want to play him anymore, after he has clearly tried to maneuver a transfer in such a classless manner. It has put Newcastle in an awkward position, with very limited striking options, leaving Newcastle with the 2 Ameobi’s as their only options.
When this odd chapter in the world of football closes, it will be interesting to see what the outcome will be. I don’t think Newcastle can realistically keep Cisse after the way he has treated the club, and would be better selling him off to anyone who offers a reasonable sum of money and move on. For Cisse, it has left him in an awkward position in his professional life and his religious life. Much like religion and politics shouldn’t be mixed, neither should religion and sport. Papiss Cisse decided to mix the two and got burned because of it, and will now have to deal with the repercussions of his actions.
Leave me a comment on the subject. I would especially like to hear from Newcastle fans on their opinions on how Cisse has behaved. All comments are appreciated.