West Ham defender Kurt Zouma is set to be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act after being charged by the RSPCA for abusing his cat.
The video that showed Zouma kicking his cat emerged just over a month ago, leading several sponsors to cut ties with West Ham after they continued playing him despite fining him two weeks wages, as well as the player himself losing his deal with adidas.
He will now be the subject of a criminal investigation after the RSPCA began the prosecution process against Zouma and his brother, Yoan, the Dagenham & Redbridge defender who filmed the abuse.
“West Ham United aware of RSPCA statement in relation to investigation involving Kurt Zouma. Kurt continues to co-operate fully, supported by Club,” West Ham said in a statement.
“Our understanding Kurt’s cats been checked by a vet, are in good health and have suffered no physical injuries.
“For legal reasons, neither Kurt or the Club will be making any further comment at this time.”
A Dagenham & Redbridge statement, meanwhile, read: “Whilst Yoan continues to fully co-operate with the RSPCA, as this matter has now progressed further, Dagenham & Redbridge FC feel it is no longer appropriate for either Yoan or the club to make any further statement.
“Dagenham & Redbridge FC maintain their position in that the club continues to condemn all animal cruelty.”
The club added added: “Since the allegation, and whilst investigations were taking place, Dagenham & Redbridge FC took the decision that Yoan should not play football for the club.
“Four weeks have now elapsed however since the incident, and the club feels that any further suspension from the team would be detrimental to both the club and Yoan.
“A decision has been made therefore for Yoan to be available to play. The club reserves the right to take further action if deemed necessary after conclusion of the court proceedings.”
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