Newcastle United’s calamity summer has continued with the emergence of a picture on Twitter purportedly showing Papiss Demba Cisse in a city centre casino, after he refused to wear the club’s new kit due to his religious beliefs over the money-lender sponsorship.
Cisse was allowed not to take part in Newcastle’s pre-season training camp in Portugal due to the on-going dispute between the striker and the club after money-lending company Wonga were named as their new kit sponsors.
The Senegalese international, who is a practising Muslim, refused to wear the kit on religious and ethical grounds, with his agent Madou Diene claiming: “He feels it is immoral”.
However, the picture appeared on social media site Twitter on Monday, appearing to show Cisse at a table in Newcastle’s city centre casino. The picture will have infuriated Newcastle officials, with Muslim belief condemning gambling as prohibited, harmful and destructive to society.
Neither the player nor the club have commented on the matter, but the picture was taken by Magpies supporter Andrew McNally, who saw the striker in the casino and took a picture on his phone.
“Cisse was just placing small bets, £10 or £20 with £5 chips,” McNally told the Daily Mirror.
The incident is the latest ordeal in a turbulent summer on Tyneside. Fans were shocked when Joe Kinnear returned to the club as director of football, going on to mispronounce a number of current players’ names, which he later apologised for.
Newcastle are the only Premier League club yet to make a signing, with fans becoming agitated at the lack of movement following their scrape with relegation last season.
It was then reported over the weekend that former player Mick Harford was set to return to the club as an assistant to Kinnear, only for him to reject the offer and become assistant manager at Millwall instead.