New images which have emerged of a top footballer playing blackjack could certainly have serious implications for the man himself, who has been wrapped up in a moral argument over a sponsor of his club, Newcastle United, which now seems undermined. Papiss Cisse was refusing to play for the team thanks to the fact that they are now sponsored by so called legal loan sharks, Wonga.
Under Sharia Law, or at least some interpretations of it, Muslims are not supposed to benefit from borrowing money, which is exactly what Wonga are doing. In a sense the club and the players themselves are also benefitting, since they are receiving sponsorship money from the company! Cisse, from Senegal, is a Muslim himself, and he withdrew from the team’s pre season tour as well as requesting a specially tailored shirt which would not bear the sponsorship last week.
However, it looks as though he feels himself exempt from some other choice moral quandaries, such as the opportunity to benefit from gambling. A Newcastle United fan, Andrew McNally, took the image of the striker working on his blackjack strategy as he spoke about the upcoming fixtures of the club and chatted to other players around the table.
“Cisse was just placing small bets, £10 or £20 with £5 chips,” McNally told the Daily Mirror. “A number of fans have said that they have seen him in there. You have to say it does undermine his stance on Wonga.” Newcastle United’s spokespeople have thus far declined to comment or release a statement on the matter, but we are sure to hear more about this soon. The Sengalese player was at the tables in the Aspers casino when he was caught red handed, and it is certain that the team management will now be using this against him as they battle to make headway and see if he will back down over this matter. If he does not, one has to wonder whether he will have any future at the team – or indeed in the Premiership league – since his loyalty to the club is very much in question.