Newcastleâ€™s Senegalese Muslim striker Papiss Cisse is now reporting that he consulted with Islamic scholars before accepting his teamâ€™s controversial new soccer jersey. The new sponsor of the team is payday loan company Wonga, which has been know to charge exorbitant interest rates. Cisse had been threatening to further boycott the new jerseys based on his Islamic ideals.
Cisse will make his first appearance of pre-season against Scottish team St Mirren this week. Cisse had missed the clubâ€™s training camp in Portugal during the boycott, but he insists he is now ready to concentrate on his game and was seen in practice wearing one of the Wonga-branded jerseys. The 28-year-old Cisse makes 40,000 pounds per week in wages, so a prolonged boycott could have been very costly for him.
â€œI have had some useful discussions with my club, my family and Islamic teachers in the last few weeks. After a huge amount of thought and reflection I have made the decision to follow my teammates and wear the kit,â€ he told the British press. â€œNow I think it is important for the team and the fans that we concentrate 100 per cent on football. Although I did not go to Portugal on the training camp, I was back here working hard on my fitness and preparing for the start of the new season. Since then it has been great to be training with my team-mates again. I feel great and ready to go, and cannot wait to be out there against St Mirren on Tuesday and to play my part for the team.â€
Cisse scored a total of 13 goals last season for Newcastle, and he once scored 22 goals in a season in the German league. So, he is being counted on by Newcastle as one of their primary scoring options, especially since fellow Senegalese striker Demba Ba was offloaded to Chelsea last season.