Kurt Zouma is set to be charged by the RSPCA under the Animal Welfare Act because of a video of him kicking his pet cat earlier this year. The video, filmed by his brother Yoan Zouma, emerged on social media and as a result Kurt Zouma saw his cats taken into care by the RSPCA.
The centre back was fined two weeks’ wages by West Ham, roughly £250,000, but escaped further punishment club with David Moyes continuing to pick the French international despite huge public pressure for him to be suspended by the East London club.
An RSPCA statement read: “Following a full and thorough investigation, we have started the process of bringing a prosecution against Kurt Zouma and Yoan Zouma under the Animal Welfare Act.
“The two cats continue to be cared for by the RSPCA. We will be in a position to release more information once a court date is confirmed.”
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West Ham are yet to comment on the latest development but the 27-year-old is set to play in the Europa League game at home to Sevilla at the London Stadium tomorrow night. He has been dropped by a number sponsors, including boot manufacturer adidas, while West Ham saw a number of their partners sever ties following what was perceived to be a soft reaction to the video.
Speaking shortly after the video became public, Moyes said that he hoped there would be forgiveness for one of his key players. “A mistake has been made and there are managers with players who have made mistakes,” the manager said after West Ham played Leicester City. “You want to feel there is forgiveness and an apology has been made.”
Yoan Zouma had been suspended by Dagenham and Redbridge while the investigation was taking place but the fifth-tier club have now confirmed that he will be free to return to Daryl McMahon’s team after being charged.
“Dagenham & Redbridge FC note the decision of the RSPCA to charge Yoan Zouma under the Animal Welfare Act 2006,” a statement said. “Whilst Yoan continues to fully co-operate with the RSPCA, as this matter has now progressed further, Dagenham & Redbridge FC feel it is no longer appropriate for either Yoan or the club to make any further statement.”
“Dagenham & Redbridge FC maintain their position in that the club continues to condemn all animal cruelty. Since the allegation, and whilst investigations were taking place, Dagenham & Redbridge FC took the decision that Yoan should not play football for the club,” the statement continued.
“Four weeks have now elapsed however since the incident, and the club feels that any further suspension from the team would be detrimental to both the club and Yoan. A decision has been made therefore for Yoan to be available to play. The club reserves the right to take further action if deemed necessary after conclusion of the court proceedings.”