Cisse Undermines His Religious Stance Against Wonga

We thought Papiss Cisse had every right to refuse to wear the Wonga insignia on his Newcastle shirt, because it was based on religious grounds and Cisse is a Muslim, and Sharia law forbids anybody to make a profit by lending out money – and Wonga makes big profits as a pay-day lender.

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Papiss Cisse – gambling at a Newcastle Casino

But there has been a photo doing the rounds this week showing Cisse gambling in a Casino, and that’s also against Sharia law.

Cisse’s agent Madou Diene, supports the player’s stance refusing to wear the shirt and had this to say to CNN on Sunday:

“He feels that it is immoral.”

And Diene said that Cisse was not a gambler, but that doesn’t seem to be too accurate.

The photo was taken in Aspers Casino in Newcastle, and a spokesman says that Cisse as “an occasional visitor” who was “very well-behaved and very welcome”, but would not confirm whether or not he placed any bets.

Newcastle City Councillor Dipu Ahad is a Muslim who had agreed with Cisse’s position on Wonga, but he has changed his mind after seeing the photo.

“I feel absolutely ashamed of what he’s done, there’s not just me there’s been other people who’ve been supporting him.” “But what he’s done now, seeing him in the casino, even if he wasn’t gambling, I think this gives a wrong message.

“People will say, ‘look, this is Islam they can pick and choose whatever they want’, and Islam isn’t about picking and choosing.”

It seems to us that Cisse seen gambling on a regular basis has completely undermined the religious position he is taking against Wonga, especially when he agreed to wear the Newcastle shirt with the Virgin Money logo on it – and Virgin also make profits from lending out money.

Does Cisse's Gambling Undermine His Position Against Wonga?

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What do you think?

Comments welcome – but please keep them civil.

NOTE: And as it happens we are trying to help Ingo Hagemann who is an International student at Northumbria University studying for an MSc in Sports Marketing, and he’s doing a survey as part of his Masters dissertation. The survey is on the controversial sponsorship between Wonga and Newcastle and it takes only five to ten minutes to complete.

There were some problems earlier but all is OK now – please help Info by taking the survey here – many thanks.

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38 comments so far

  • martoon

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Comment #1

    While I understand the outrage over Cisse in the Casino I don’t understand why it is suddenly big news. It was pretty common knowledge among Toon fans that he was often see in Aspers and mentioned many times on here. So if Toon fans knew this how come the press did not?

  • Ben3arfa

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #2

    Didnt his agent come out and say he doesnt gamble ?

    IDK , I would much rather not concentrate on this issue, WE NEED PLAYERS IN

  • G

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #3

    How ironic that Ed was chastising us all a few days back because of religious debate, and now we have a thread dedicated to it. No offense Ed, but I’m sure you must see the irony here too?

  • Slank

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #4


    southerngeordie @ 19

    ‘….Ashley’s agenda is to simply use us as nothing more than a giant billboard for Sports Direct…’

    That is quite correct. Nothing wrong in that.

    That is what he told Sir John when he bought his shares and Sir John has since confirmed this.

    Football clubs are available to be bought and sold and will continue to be used to promote the interest of their owners. Are the Abu Dhabi royal family in love with Manchester or is it to promote themselves, their bushiness (which includes Sky News Arabia) and their airline Etihad?

  • The Arizona Geordie Pizzicato

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #5

    no G, there’s a Ketsbaia (or the Scharner guy) here posting messages. I guess you haven’t seen them coz of time differences. (and of coz, asking which one is just kidding)

  • Transfer Sage

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #6

    I don’t see this as an issue really.

    People pick and chose which parts of religion to follow all of the time. Thats why there are many different groups within each religion.

  • G

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #7

    @ 5, ha ha, no I don’t mean the Ketsbaia9 who often posts on here. I meant the mental ex Toon player who famously kicked seven bells out of the advertising boards.

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Comment #8

    Not a good start to the day. Shola staying and clear to sign Bent.

    I thought we actually played quite well second half last night. Santon looked quite strong at LB and M’Biwa mustn’t get wasted at LB

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Comment #9


    Difference being the Mansoors invested in a decent manager and provided funds.

  • G

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #10

    @TS, I just chose to opt out of any of them. I find religion to be a little like alcohol. In moderation, it’s a fine thing, but when you have too much of it, it turns you into a complete pillock!

  • The Arizona Geordie Pizzicato

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #11

    Back to this, I think as a Christian or a “religious guy” myself, I often think it’s people’s choice of doing anything, but one shouldn’t do so if it makes the others feel uncomfortable. It really seems that Cisse is doing something upsetting Islam fellows. Is he going to make me not like him? Probably not, but I think he needs to face the banters of his fellows. More than that, the image now is like he’s doing one thing while saying the others. He got his own problems to face now.

    Why don’t we just rest this and revisit this when he’s speaking through any media channel (more preferably

  • The Arizona Geordie Pizzicato

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Comment #12

    G, I guess the real Ketsbaia could be a good and inexpensive manager for us. At least we wouldn’t be playing hoofball.

  • Spotlight Kid

    Jul 24, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #13

    Cisse has every right to object – period. It is an ethical and not a religious issue. It is not your place to hold anyone to account over their religion, Ed, especially as the other day you posted your sanctimonious plea to keep ‘religion and politics’ off the site – yet here you are happily stirring up the unwashed again!

    It’s not Cisse who is the hypocrite here, Ed – glass houses and all that, eh?

    Good luck to Cisse, a true human being and the only person on Tyneside with the ‘nads to stand up to Ashley.

  • Ba Humbug

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #14

    Maybe Cisse is just angling for a move and the Wonga thing is an easy tool to get him out of the club?

  • Transfer Sage

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Comment #15


    I’m the same. I think in this day and age religion is adapting all the time, it has changed so much from 1000 years ago, it has even changed a lot from 100 years ago.

    Nearly all religions are much more tolerant of things that were considered forbidden years ago and have gone away from some practices meant to be carried out.

    then you have each group within islam, christianity, etc etc which adapts the teachings its own ways, discounting some text and adding others….the fact is nobody knows exactly what form of islam cisse follows and how strongly he follows each individual part.

  • jeff

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #16

    Debuchy Tomkin Colo Baine
    Sissoko Osman Ben Arfa
    Downing Gomis McClean

  • elpaso_geordie

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #17

    Who can blame Cisse wanting to leave ? I would and I am born n bred in Newcastle
    not bothered what excuse he is using , I think any player with a remote chance of leaving toon will be off in a shot like – Joke club, Joke owner, Joke staff

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #18

    big issue
    could be a meeting between Pardew and Kinnear today/tomorrow on what the hell Kinnear has been doing while the squad has been in Portugal as Pardew expected/was told at least two signings would/shoul of been through the door.

  • Transfer Sage

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #19


    I wish more of us fans had stood up the way cisse has done…cancelling season tickets, not buying shirts, complaining, petitions etc to get this brand off our shirt.

    Whether he contradicts himself or not I don’t care, he is doing what he thinks is right and not just towing the line like people do these days.

  • Slank

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #20

    I think most Newcastle fans must feel annoyed (putting it politely) with him because he is letting himself, his religion, his team mates, his club and his supporters (who pay his exorbitant wages) down by his ‘principled’ stand.

    If the media reports are true, in their exposure of him, it is just a cynical attempt to get more money either from the club or some other club.

    The longer his silence continues the greater the suspicions grow.

  • ogalaga_toon

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #21

    We should sell him and use the money to get 2 strikers from olympique lyon

    Gomis and Lacazette

  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #22


    You’re surely not suggesting the negotiating skills of the world’s best director of football have lost their edge!!!

  • cyprus

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #23

    Ed, I’ll agree with G @3 on this one! This picture was posted ages ago. Change the subject or expect the bigots to jump on the bandwagon, mate.


    On MA, Southern,

    you are taking on a big challenge there, doing a psychoanalysis of that man! You say he supports Chelsea? Most people say Spurs…. Still, the simple aphorisms, you are right, are wrong. This is a more ‘complex’ case.

    After all, he accepted his wife back after being taken for the price of a Torres!!

    This year he gave monster bonuses to his staff…

    Why did he buy the club? To make money?! Who buys clubs to make money? For promotion? Likely, but I wouldn’t tolerate the abuse for any kind of money, and he doesn’t need it any more. I think you nailed it in that he wanted an expensive toy. I would do that after I’d made my first billion too! But it’s all gone sour… he tried to please the fans (e.g. Keegan, Shearer) to no avail. I think he’d sell if someone made the right offer. if you know anyone who can afford us (and the head ache!!) give him a call.

  • Toon73

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Comment #24

    Back to the meth lab for Jeff

  • geordiemark

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #25

    if the player does gamble then thats his choice cant see what this has to do with wonga, I do really think that newcastle should cancel wonga and tear up the agreements whats the point in it, the players dont like wonga, we hate wonga, the press dont like them the only lot who do like them is the government because they get money out of them for there party about time wonga just wongered off 🙂

  • Slank

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Comment #26

    Transfer Sage

    Towing the line for Cisse is honouring his contract.

  • G

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Comment #27

    @15, I could debate this all day, but I think faith is a very personal thing. As you say, I have no idea how Cisse interprets his own faith, or indeed his own sense of morality with it. Perhaps we shouldn’t be harsh on him, however, the photo’s timing doesn’t look good. For what it’s worth, I want to Cisse playing for the toon again, I believe he is one of the best finishers in the league, despite his goal scoring record early last season, where to be fair he was played on the wing to placate Ba. We will not get anybody near his ability for the money being quoted by the press.

  • geordiemark

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Comment #28


    were stuck with ashley until he gets what he wants for the club unless we all make him feel very uncomfortable at sjp also stop buying his dodgy stuff made by people who work for peanuts in asia yet good old ashley sells his products at higher prices no wonder hes a billionare, its to late to empty the ground everyone would have bought there tickets by now but can still refuse to buy anything at the staduim ect ect

  • Spotlight Kid

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #29


    A few years back the once proud people of this area would have had Ashley run out of town for desecrating and pimping the stadium and the shirt. Alas, folks today are NOT made of the same stuff, so they simply roll over to have their bellies tickled instead while the owner piles insult upon insult. It’s not the Toon any more, it’s a Sports Direct mannequin in a black and white Wonga shirt. Stork and butter comes to mind….

    “Chuck the revolting peasants a new Frenchman, JFK, there’s a good chap…..”

  • spitfire_

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #30

    Isn’t the religion nice and convenient… You can twistet as you like it.

    It’s about the money… it’s all about the money. Kick Cisse out of the club! No one is bigger than the club!

  • G

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #31

    Just to add a bit more fuel to the fire, but we have a few people that subscribe to Islam at work, and they are all in the lottery syndicate doing the rounds. Does that make them bad Muslims, or is it just a shift in interpretation of the religion? I am no religious expert, however, don’t Islam, Christianity, and Judaism really boil down to the ten commandments? I cant remember which one tells them not to gamble, unless its a modern interpretation of coveting your neighbors cow?

  • GenralHez

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #32

    On last seasons performance Cisse is not worth the linage he is taking up.
    He signed a contract he should have the professionalism to honour.
    He wore the Virgin Money lenders logo.
    He gambles.
    Get rid and sign someone worth while.

  • Spotlight Kid

    Jul 24, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #33

    Spitfire@30 ‘No one is bigger than the club!’

    I suggest you go to Specsavers – Ashley IS the club now. He’s appoints the clowns and pimps the shirt, while fans like you remain in complete denial of events. I guess you still bleed black and white as well?

    Ashley must be rolling around like a Cadbury’s Smash Martian when he reads this toon-till-I-die stuff:

    “These Geordies are clearly a primitive people…”

  • stuart no9

    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #34

    a lot of us said- cisse wanted a move away and was using his religion to a angle one – a lot of you said he had a right not to wear the shirt because of his religion -, it really looks like he has made you look complete idiots now by – gambling ? what a plonker!

  • wynsleap

    Jul 24, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #35

    Spotlight Kid @ 29 – at last someone talking sense.
    As I have said on here previously I have taken part in some very noisy and sometimes nasty demonstrations over the years to successfully get people like Westwood and McKeag out of this club.
    If they had stayed the club would have been obliterated.
    That also negates the argument from the ‘Stepford wives’
    on here that the club will suffer because of these kind of actions. Didn’t we recover and eventually end up as The Entertainers?
    Unfortunately the fans today just accept every bit of s**t Ashley throws at them consoling themselves with ‘balanced books’. ‘could be worse – we could be a Leeds etc’.
    Ashley has NO AMBITION for this club and it is time that the fans realised it and mobilised against him. CONSTANT demonstrations, banners and chants as well as boycotts at the ground will remove him because eventually he wouldn’t want the bad publicity it was giving him or his beloved sports brand.
    The alternative is more of the same for years to come.

  • evildick

    Jul 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #36

    so bored of this story now

    if he refuses to wear it, fair enough.. However if Wonga refuse to let him wear a plain shirt then he has to leave.

    Surely it’s written into a players contract that he has wear our kit???

    What next? Ben Arfa demanding to play in pyjamas?

  • PrinceMonkey

    Jul 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #37

    It’s so obvious that he is using this as an excuse to wangle a move. In the end he is just going to look like the mercenary he is.

  • LeToonARMY

    Jul 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Comment #38

    i swear cisse has A GIRLFRIEND muslims are not allowed to have sex before marriage and im sure cisse does worse then just wear a top of the company he works for infact wearing the top is less Haraam then actually going casino i just dont think he is happy here without Demba ba


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