Zouma’s brother¬†Yoan was suspended on Thursday by his club Dagenham & Redbridge after filming the video, which has been widely condemned.
Sunday 13 February 2022 17:35, UK
Kurt Zouma pulled out of West Ham’s game at Leicester today during the warm-up, after he had been named in the starting eleven.
The defender had been picked for the Premier League clash despite the ongoing outcry over the cat kicking video but dropped out of the squad after reportedly feeling unwell.
His manager David Moyes had asked for forgiveness from the public for Zouma’s “terrible” actions, after a video emerged of the footballer kicking and slapping his pet cat.
Moyes had said he would keep the 27-year-old available for today’s Premier League match despite the public outcry, sponsors dropping the club and the player, and the RSPCA – which has confiscated his two cats – investigating the video.
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The Hammers boss said on Friday that “we all make mistakes” and he hopes the French footballer can be rehabilitated in a similar way to a drink-driver.
“We have to give people opportunities,” he said. “He said he got it wrong, made a big mistake, so I’m hoping people will see it in a different way and see it with forgiveness.”
Zouma started in Tuesday evening’s Premier League clash with Watford at the London Stadium and was booed by away supporters.
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In the footage Zouma was filmed kicking and slapping his pet cat, with laughter heard ringing in the background.
The French defender has apologised for his behaviour and is expected to attend RSPCA courses. His brother Yoan was suspended by Dagenham & Redbridge after filming the video.
Both of his cats have now been taken into the care of RSPCA. The animals are not available for rehoming, the animal welfare charity said.
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The RSPCA is leading an investigation, alongside Essex Police, which Zouma is co-operating with.
Zouma was fined the maximum two weeks’ wages by West Ham – understood by Sky News to be £250,000 – which will go to animal welfare groups.
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