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Cisse backs down in Newcastle shirt row

ESPN staff
July 25, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Papiss Cisse will continue to wear a Newcastle shirt © Getty Images
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Papiss Cisse and Newcastle have reached an agreement that means he will wear the club's Wonga logo on his shirt despite his religious beliefs.

The Senegal international, a practising Muslim, had refused to wear shirts or any elements of kit branded with the Wonga.com logo because of his faith. He had offered to wear an unbranded shirt, or one promoting a charity, as a compromise in order to avoid him going against sharia law - which does not allow for profiteering on money-lending.

He missed the club's recent tour of Portugal, instead staying in the UK and training on his own in the North-East.

However, the Newcastle Evening Chronicle reported that after talks involving the player, the club and the Professional Footballers' Association, Cisse had agreed to wear the same branded kit as the rest of his team-mates for the forthcoming season.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor told Sky Sports on Wednesday: "We're working with Newcastle United, Papiss and his advisor to achieve a satisfactory settlement. We're consulting experienced people within football, used to dealing with equality issues, who are Muslims."

Earlier in the week, a photograph taken last November had been published of Cisse at a poker table in a Newcastle casino, which seemed to undermine his moral stance.

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