Kurt Zouma: the French defender forfeited last minute “after feeling bad during the warm-up”

In the turmoil, after the broadcast of the video in which he mistreats one of his cats, Kurt Zouma was to be aligned this Sunday with West Ham on the lawn of Leicester. But the French defender gave up a few minutes before the start of the match of the 25th day of the Premier League.

Already aligned, Tuesday evening, against Watford (1-0), Kurt Zouma saw his coach David Moyes renew his confidence in him despite the scandal caused, in England as in France, by the publication of the video. The former Saint-Etienne, whose name was among the holders, had even started his warm-up with the rest of his teammates. But after a few minutes, he returned to the touchline, where he spoke with the English club’s medical staff before returning to the locker room.

Moments later, West Ham announced the withdrawal of their player, who had reportedly had vision problems, according to the BBC. “Issa Diop will replace Kurt Zouma in the starting lineup because he felt bad” during the warm-up, the British team said on its Twitter account. This new episode concludes a highly turbulent week for the international tricolor (11 selections).

The tabloid The Sun revealed on Tuesday a video where Kurt Zouma was the author of violence on his cat, kicking him, throwing a shoe at him and slapping him. These images had caused an outcry across the Channel as in France, where several complaints were filed in particular by the Foundation 30 million friends, the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and the SPA.

West Ham had condemned the violence and imposed on Zouma the heaviest possible fine of 300,000 euros corresponding to two weeks’ salary. The player, who lost custody of his two cats, was also let go by Adidas. The sports equipment supplier broke the contract binding him to the player.

And while an online petition, which has collected more than 330,000 signatures, has been launched to demand legal action against him, he could also be removed from the France team for the next Blues rally in March. For his part, his brother Yoan, who would have filmed the video, was suspended by his club of Dagenham and Redbridge (5th division) until the conclusion of the investigation.

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