Premier League – Kurt Zouma not dismissed from West Ham against Leicester
French international footballer Kurt Zouma, at the heart of controversy after being filmed hitting his cat, has not been ruled out for Sunday’s England Championship game against Leicester, his coach David Moyes announced on Friday.
« Yes he is available to play against Leicester« said the technician, who had already been criticized for starting Zouma against Watford on Tuesday, hours after the video was released. »There are different views and opinions on whether it is available. As a club we have made this decision and I stand by it.Moyes reiterated on Friday. British public opinion was outraged to see the 27-year-old kick his cat, throw a shoe at him and slap him as he took refuge in the arm of a child.
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Animal welfare training
West Ham strongly condemned Zouma’s actions earlier this week and fined him €300,000, the heaviest possible penalty. The Scottish technician also revealed on Friday that the French striker should undergo animal welfare training.
« I don’t think the club can take more action or act faster. West Ham fined him his salary to the maximum possible. We unanimously denounce these terrible and diabolical acts« , justified Moyes. « We’re really disappointed because it doesn’t fit Kurt’s character at all. He’s a very good lad, we’ll get him some help, like drunk driving offences, most people have to go through training, and the RSPCA (the local SPA) will give him some Classes“, said the coach. “We will do everything we can to make sure Kurt cares, improves and understands best practices.Moyes insisted.
The RSPCA and Essex Police are working together to investigate the incident, and Zouma’s cat has been taken into the care of the animal welfare body to check his condition. Around 200,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Zouma to be prosecuted. The sports equipment manufacturer Adidas had also broken the contract binding it to the player, several sponsors of the club had distanced themselves and calls for Zouma never to play again with the Blues had been addressed to the French Football Federation.
Shortly after the broadcast of the video, Zouma and the club apologized, but the player’s tenure the same evening, for a league match against Watford, had revived the controversy even more. Moyes had at that time defended his decision by explaining that he needed his best players, the London club being in the fight for a qualification in the Champions League.
Zouma was jeered at throughout the game by fans, including his team at times, and when he complained of pain after a foul by an opponent, some even chanted « this is what your cat feels ». Fifth Division club Dagenham and Redbridge have suspended Zouma’s brother, Yoan, who allegedly filmed the video.
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