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Volume 6 No. 212
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EPL Newcastle Striker Cissé Says Islamic Teachers Helped Decision To Wear Wonga Kit

EPL Newcastle striker Papiss Cissé has revealed that his decision to wear the Wonga-branded Newcastle kit "was made only after discussions with the club, his family and Islamic teachers," according to the LONDON TIMES. The Senegalese striker, a practicing Muslim, "had been reluctant to wear the new kit, sponsored by the payday loan company, due to ethical and religious issues." The dispute over the Wonga sponsorship -- the four-year deal is said to be worth a reported £24M ($36M) -- "had overshadowed Newcastle's pre-season preparations" (LONDON TIMES, 7/30). The BBC reported the two parties eventually resolved their differences, but Cissé admitted it had been "a very difficult time." Cissé: "I 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" (BBC, 7/30).