African and Muslim
Assimilation is one of the most discussed topics in global football as players make foreign leagues their homes. The fate of African players was thrown into the spotlight this week when Senegal’s Papiss Cisse showed how differences can sometimes cause difficulties. Cisse, who plays for Newcastle, is a practicing Muslim. One of the fundamental principles of his religion is rejecting involvement in financial transactions that include interest. Money-lending is one such activity. When Newcastle concluded a deal with Wonga, a short-term, high-interest lender, it put Cisse in a difficult position.
The club is his employers and provides his salary, which it obtains in part through sponsorship deals such as this one. But Cisse’s beliefs would condemn the association with Wonga. While deliberating the matter of wearing a Wonga-emblazoned Newcastle shirt, he did not go on their training camp to Portugal in mid-July and consulted with family, friends and religious experts.
Read More: ESPN FC