French international defender Kurt Zouma was sentenced on Wednesday 1er June by the British courts to 180 hours of community service for having mistreated her cat. The 27-year-old West Ham player, who had pleaded guilty, was also banned by Thames Magistrates court in east London from owning a cat for five years. Judge Susan Holdham described his actions as “shameful and reprehensible”.
The viral video, where he was seen kicking and slapping his animal, was filmed on February 6 and shared on Snapchat by his little brother Yoan, 24, also a footballer.
During Kurt Zouma’s court appearance on May 24, prosecutor Hazel Stevens said the footage was taken after cats damaged a chair. She had noted that there had been since their publication “an upsurge of people hitting cats and posting the footage on various social media”.
Fine of 300,000 euros
The player’s two cats have since been handed over to animal welfare society RSPCA, which had launched proceedings to have Kurt and Yoan Zouma prosecuted under animal welfare legislation.
The London club had not suspended their player and had even made him participate in a match the evening of the revelation of the affair, provoking a huge wave of protests. Finally, he had been inflicted by his club a fine nearly 300,000 euros, the highest possible and the sports equipment manufacturer Adidas had broken its sponsorship contract.
West Ham assured that, according to the information available to the club, the cats had not “suffered no physical injury”. The club then revealed that the financial penalty imposed on the player had been donated to animal protection associations.