The club have signed a new sponsorship deal with money lenders Wonga. But Cisse informed the club several weeks ago that he does not want to wear the sponsors branding on his shirt next season because of his beliefs as a Muslim.
Under sharia law, it is prohibited to benefit from lending money to another person, which is how payday loan company Wonga operate, who have an annual percentage rate of 4,214 per cent.
However, fellow Muslims Hatem Ben Arfa and Cheick Tiote haven’t protested the deal so far, meaning Cisse is the only player to do so.
The club may offer Cisse an unbranded shirt to wear to avoid the forward leaving the club. But the Toon have no interest in cancelling the sponsorship deal, something that Bolton Wanderers did with similar company QuickQuid.
Cisse, who has been linked with a move to Anzhi Makhachkala this summer, could well leave the club because of the sponsorship deal. Managing director Derek Llambias intends to discuss the issue with Cisse when he returns from World Cup qualifying duty with Senegal.
The forward came off the bench in Senegal’s 1-1 draw with Angola, and could feature in their next match against Liberia on Saturday.
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