Alan Pardew held his first training session with the Newcastle squad yesterday, and the lads were seen running a lot, and doing some flexibility exercises, and significantly, all the returning Muslims in the squad were wearing the WONGA.com training gear.
Ben Arfa wearing the WONGA.com training kit yesterday
Some Newcastle players – particularly Papiss Cisse – have sad they are unwilling to wear the gear, because lending for gain is against Sharia law in the Muslim religion, and we suppose the players have a legal right not to wear the gear with WONGA.com on them.
Newcastle’s practicing Muslims include Hatem Ben Arfa, Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, and new boy Olivier Kemen and the players present yesterday – Tiote and Cisse return next week – were wearing the WONGA.com training gear.
But the news is that Papiss Cisse is still refusing to wear the WONGA.com shirts on religious grounds, so when he returns to training late next week we’ll see if he wears different training kit.
And if he does, it means he will also wear a different shirt – sans the WONGA.com signs – during games in the coming season.
There’s still a chance Papiss will change his mind, but at most it’s just one player who is objecting to wearing WONGA.com on his shirt.
Of course Papiss Cisse would also have a good argument to not have worn the Virgin Money insignia, since that company also lends out money for profit.
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