Kurt Zouma poses for a photograph.
Gulf Today Report
West Ham on Wednesday fined Kurt Zouma the “maximum amount possible” for mistreating his cat as the RSPCA charity said it had taken two animals belonging to the France defender into care.
The 27-year-old has also lost his deal with sportswear giant Adidas over the disturbing video showing him dropping, kicking and slapping his pet, according to AFP.
The RSPCA animal welfare organisation described the video as “very upsetting” and is leading the investigation while cooperating with police.
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Around 200,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Zouma to be prosecuted as the public backlash intensifies in a country renowned for its love of animals.
West Ham issued a fresh statement on Wednesday saying Zouma was complying with the RSPCA, including delivering his two cats to the charity for assessment.
“Kurt is extremely remorseful and, like everyone at the club, fully understands the depth of feeling surrounding the incident and the need for action to be taken,” the club said.
“Separate to the RSPCA’s investigation and pending further sanction once the outcome of that process is determined, West Ham United can confirm that Kurt Zouma has been fined the maximum amount possible following his actions in the video that circulated.
“The player has immediately accepted the fine and has requested that it is donated to animal welfare charities.”
Reports said the fine would total around £250,000 ($340,000), with standard Premier League contracts allowing for a maximum fine of two weeks’ wages.
The RSPCA, which is working with police on the case, tweeted that the cats were “safe and in our care”.
“Our priority is and has always been the wellbeing of these cats,” said a spokesman. “They’ve been taken for a check-up at a vets and then will remain in our care while the investigation continues.
“We’re grateful to everyone who expressed their concern for these cats. We were dealing with this issue before the video went viral online and are leading the investigation.”