It’s hard to pick up a newspaper or tabloid today without reading of some fresh horror in the Middle East, often motivated by the majority religion in the region and deliberately underlined by the editors for maximum political shock value. The latest example involves the horrific shooting by the Taliban of a 14-year-old girl for the crime of advocating for better access to quality education for women and girls. When this kind of story remains the only point of contact between readers and Islam, it’s easy to understand why that faith continues to be regarded with suspicion in Western Europe and North America.
Which is why the news that several Newcastle players, including Cheick Tioté, Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé and Hatem Ben Arfa, may refuse to wear a shirt sponsored by Wonga out of respect for Sharia’s ban on usurious practices that exploit the poor comes as a welcome change. How often do you read a story in which a Muslim cleric clarifies that Sharia calls for the need “…to protect the vulnerable and the needy from exploitation by the rich and powerful”? Yes Margaret, the majority of adherents to Islam are about as radical in outlook as your local Anglican church.
There are some quibbles—why the need for a religious code to take a principled stand on a plainly morally-dubious practice?—but it’s good to see players taking an active role in unethical financial transactions at their club, and even better to see a newspaper remind its readers Islam is not all burning embassies and shooting teenagers.
Now, on the topic of principled moral stands, about those player salaries…
Interview with Toronto FC’s equipment manager Malcolm Phillips.
Vancouver’s Omar Salgado getting frustrated on the sidelines.
Marouane Fellaini set to miss three weeks with a knee injury.
“Opening of St. George’s Park means players have no excuses” – Steven Gerrrard
Newcastle’s Muslim players told not to play in the clubs new kit…new sponsor apparently infringes Sharia Law.
Wayne Rooney understands why England fans ‘were upset’ about his trip to Las Vegas before Euro 2012.
Javier Hernandez denies transfer rumors over a potential Old Trafford exit.
The FA set to launch a new code of conduct for England players.
Michael Owen eager to face former club Manchester United.
Birmingham City’s chief executive Peter Pannu confirms he’s received two bids to purchase the club.
“Issues with Ashley Cole are totally resolved” – Roy Hodgson
Luis Suarez doesn’t care what people think about him…Brendan Rodgers does though
Phil Neville admits he wants to coach once he hangs up the boots.
Brendan Rodgers defends Joe Allen after recent criticism from Alan Shearer.
“Manchester United need Sir Alex Ferguson” – Anderson
John Terry under pressure not to appeal the FA’s four game ban.
Aston Villa’s Paul Lambert praises Alex McLeish for signing Brett Holman.
Ferguson encouraged by Manchester United’s recent form.
Wayne Rooney ready to step up for England…wants captain role.
Bologna defender Cesare Natali faces six months on the sidelines after damaging knee ligaments.
Prandelli warns Mario Balotelli he has to prove himself during Italy’s World Cup qualifiers.
Nigel de Jong not worried about Milan’s ‘crisis’.
Milan reportedly offered Pep Guardiola a four-year contract.
Massimiliano Allegri one loss away from being fired – report
Financial restraints preventing Juventus from making big-name signings.
Michael Bradley confirms he’s happy at Roma.
Barcelona denies link to cycling doctor (Luis Garcia del Moral) who worked with Lance Armstrong.
Barcelona’s Eric Abidal returns to training following a liver transplant in April.
Sergio Busquets handed a two-match ban by UEFA.
Iniesta denies reports from Real Madrid’s Pepe that he’s a diver.
Atletico Madrid confirm they might have to sell Radamel Falcao.
Mesut Ozil denies reports linking him to Manchester United.
Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus blames fans for lack of managerial job opportunities.
“Germany deserve more respect” – Bastian Schweinsteiger
Borussia Dortmund confident over title chances.
Javier Martinez making his mark at Bayern Munich.
Bits and bobs
Suspect in New York Red Bulls youth coach’s death flees to Mexico.
Hooligans stab Brazil’s 2014 inflatable armadillo mascot.
Taiwan news report mocks Luis Suarez and diving claims – Video
FIFA aiming to eliminate diving completely.
Neymar and Ganso freestyle tricks – Santos TV
Tackles in division three of the Scottish Football League take it to another level.
FIFA plans to fight match-fixing in football.
Borussia Dortmund over the last two years – Video
A day in the life of Cristiano Ronaldo – Video