French footballer Kurt Zouma has been fined by his club West Ham United after a video of the 27-year-old abusing a cat in front of a child caused outrage online.
The British animal protection organization RSPCA has taken the animals into their care for the time being. This was announced by the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) on Twitter.
The video showed the French defender kicking the cat like a soccer ball and throwing shoes at it. On top of that, he hits the animal hard in the face with the palm of his hand. Laughter can be heard in the background. The RSPCA had reported that it had received numerous complaints about the video. The police have now also got involved.
Zouma apologized for his behavior on Tuesday. “There is no justification for my behavior, which I seriously regret,” said the Frenchman. He assured that the two cats in his household are fine. West Ham said on Wednesday Zouma and the club are fully cooperating in the investigation.
Zouma booed by his own fans
On top of that, the player was sentenced to the highest possible fine within the club, which he immediately accepted. The money will be donated to animal welfare organizations at his request. The club again sharply condemned the defender’s behavior.
West Ham United fans also resented the footballer for the video. During Tuesday night’s Premier League game between the Hammers and Watford (1-0), Zouma was loudly booed whenever he touched the ball. Coach David Moyes later justified Zouma’s line-up with sporting reasons. “I know how people feel,” he said, “but I’m also the football coach here.”