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Disturbing footage, published by The Sun, emerged of the 27-year-old West Ham centre-back slapping and kicking his cat at his home.
And the vile incident was reportedly filmed by Zouma’s brother Yoan, with the cameraman laughing as the poor cat is tormented by the former Chelsea defender.
The Hammers defender was met with fierce backlash from fans inside the London Stadium for the Watford clash, with loud boos heard every time he touched the ball.
Boos from the Watford fans fro Zouma's first touch. #WHUFC— Jack Rosser (@JackRosser_) February 8, 2022
They’re really boo’ing Zouma whenever he touches the ball🤣😭— rebecca🥀 (@rebeccamariaxo) February 8, 2022
Boos from the Watford fans for Zouma's first touch. #WHUFC— That's Football! (@ThatsFootballTV) February 8, 2022
Boo's everytime zouma gets the ball 👍🏼— tøby 🇷🇸 (@sfctoby) February 8, 2022
Zouma getting boo'd by West Ham fans is pretty satisfying though— biff (@biff_footie) February 8, 2022
Josh King challenged Kurt Zouma and Watford fans started singing "that's how your cat feels" #WHUFC— Roshane Thomas (@RoshaneSport) February 8, 2022
Metropolitan Police confirmed they won’t investigate Zouma over his actions, but Essex Police are liaising with the RSPCA and “urgent enquiries are ongoing.”
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “This is a very upsetting video. It’s never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise.
“We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.”
West Ham have also “unreservedly” condemned Zouma’s actions and said they would be “dealing with the matter internally.”
The Hammers said in a statement to The Sun: “West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated.
“We have spoken to Kurt and will be dealing with the matter internally, but we would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals.”
Zouma, who was signed by West Ham from Chelsea in a £29.8m deal in August 2021, claimed that it was an “isolated incident” in his apology.
“I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret,” he told The Sun.
“I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video. I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy.
“They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again.”
Zouma is under contract with West Ham until 2025 and has made 16 appearances across all competitions for the Hammers this season.
Featured Image Credit: PA/BT Sport
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