Latest updates on fines, suspensions, sponsor response, as defender loses cat in RSPCA investigation

There’s been plenty of controversy over Kurt Zouma’s abuse of his pet cat as seen in a February 7 video posted to social media and the incident is costing the West Ham defender in many ways.

The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) owns two of his cats and West Ham have also officially fined the player two weeks’ salary – the money will be donated to a charity. animal charity. But sponsors are also responding with cancellation agreements with adidas and Vitality with players and clubs.

The first moves come a day after West Ham coach David Moyes chose to start Zouma despite the uproar surrounding the graphic nature of the video (below), in which Zouma releases his pet , slap it and throw an object at it as laughter resounds. in the background.

(Note: The video below shows animal abuse and will be offensive to some.)

Moyes’ defense of the decision to use Zouma in the face of backlash has generated a wave of backlash of their own, and West Ham sponsor Vitality has chosen to withdraw its sponsorship as they felt the response was poor. of the club in this regard.

Will Kurt Zouma lose his cat?

The RSPCA confirmed on February 9 that the cats were in its care, although according to West Ham’s statement, it was the case that Zouma “delivered two of his family’s cats to the RSPCA for evaluation.”

Based on language on the RSPCA siteIf the institution warrants a conviction after investigating and prosecuting a case, convicts can be “barred from raising animals” if the court decides it is appropriate.

“Once a conviction is secured, the court can permanently confiscate the animal,” reads the language on the website. “If we contract them to care for them, we can find them loving homes.”

How much is Zouma fined for kicking and hitting a cat?

The West Ham defender has been paid by the club for two weeks, with media estimates ranging between $340,000 (£250,000).

Based on West Ham statement on February 9Zouma will not challenge the fine and the money will be donated to animal welfare charities.

Zouma will be suspended after cat video?

West Ham’s statement announcing his suspension did not include any mention of suspension, but it did present the club with the opportunity for future discipline depending on the outcome of the RSPCA’s investigation.

“Privately to the RSPCA investigation and pending further sanctions once the outcome of that process is determined, West Ham United can confirm that Kurt Zouma has been fined the maximum possible amount following his actions. it’s in the circulating video.”

After Moyes chose to catch Zouma in the first game after the video emerged (February 8), it became clear that only a self-imposed club penalty would force the defender to sit out a future game. . Moyes made it clear on 8 February that the club was still looking into the matter, leaving a potential suspension for the club while the RSPCA investigation was still ongoing.

“It’s something we’ve all been frustrated with and something we can’t understand.” Moyes said. “He will learn from it [but] Today, I have to pick a team that has the best chance of winning as the manager of West Ham.

“I know how people feel, but I’m also a football manager here. My feeling is that Kurt apologized and I understand a lot of people won’t just accept an apology. But with me, he went out and [apologized] Be honest and I have to do my job. “

Currently, the maximum penalty is a fine and a strong rebuke from the club:

“West Ham United would like to reiterate our condemnation of Kurt’s actions and make it clear that the matter continues to be treated with the utmost seriousness. However, we believe it is important to allow permission. The RSPCA conducts their investigation fairly and thoroughly and will make no further comment at this stage.”

Can Zouma be arrested for cruelty to animals?

The Metropolitan Police have decided not to pursue the case, but Essex Police are working with the RSPCA after the case was referred to them by their Surrey partners.

If an RSPCA investigation uncovers a crime, it could lead to action by the relevant authorities.

Can Zouma be prosecuted?

Under common law, the RSPCA has the power to prosecute individuals suspected of abusing or neglecting animals.

“The RSPCA will consider prosecuting individuals who have committed crimes when animals are abandoned or abused or where animals’ rights have been or are likely to be violated,” read the RSPCA’s prosecution policy.

“Alternatives to prosecution will also be considered.”

The RSPCA investigation in conjunction with Essex Police is ongoing and a decision to prosecute has yet to be made.

There are almost 250,000 people who want to see the RSPCA move forward with the prosecution of Zouma, sign an online petition state their views on the topic.

Donors release Zouma and West Ham

The club’s handling of the situation was cited by Vitality in suspending club sponsorship on 9 February:

Vitality said in a statement: “We are deeply disappointed by the judgment the club has subsequently made regarding this incident.”

“We are therefore suspending our sponsorship of West Ham United with immediate effect.

“We will now interact more with the club to understand what actions they will take to resolve the situation.”

Hours after Vitality’s announcement, adidas went ahead with the removal of Kurt Zouma as one of their athletes.

Zouma apologizes for cat video with brother

Zouma released a statement a day after the video surfaced: “I want to apologize for my actions. There are no excuses for my behavior, which I truly regret.

“I also want to deeply apologize to anyone who was upset by the video. I can assure everyone that our two cats are completely fine and healthy.

“They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behavior is an isolated incident that will not happen again.”

Zouma’s brother Yoan, who plays for Dagenham & Redbridge FC, also issued an apology for his role in filming and posting the video on social media.

“I deeply regret my involvement in the video that has gone viral and deeply apologize, not only for my actions, but for the sadness and distress this will cause so many. people.

“I’m taking some time now to reflect on what I’ve done but wanted to assure everyone that this was an isolated incident and not something I’m proud of.”

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