Zouma fined by West Ham, loses sponsor for animal abuse

title=s

West Ham’s Kurt Zouma kicks the ball during an English Premier League soccer match between West Ham United and Watford at the London Stadium in London on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/David Cliff)

PA

Kurt Zouma was fined two weeks’ wages by West Ham and lost his sponsorship deal with Adidas on Wednesday after he was filmed kicking and slapping a cat.

An animal welfare charity has taken custody of Zouma’s two cats as they investigate video footage which has been widely shared on social media and led to the France international issuing an apology for his conduct.

His exact salary was not disclosed, but British media reported that West Ham’s fine was over $300,000.

“Kurt and the club are cooperating fully with the investigation and the player has voluntarily complied with the steps taken at the initial stage of the process, including handing over his family’s two cats to the RSPCA for assessment,” the Premier club said. League. referring to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“Kurt is extremely remorseful and, like everyone at the club, fully understands the depth of feelings surrounding the incident and the need for action,” the West Ham statement added.

The club said that apart from the RSPCA investigation “and pending further sanction once the outcome of this process is determined”, they have given Zouma “the maximum amount possible” – two weeks salary.

“The player immediately accepted the fine and asked that it be donated to animal welfare charities,” West Ham said.

Hours later, major sportswear maker Adidas said it had concluded its own investigation and decided Zouma would no longer be a “contract athlete”.

West Ham were also under pressure from their sponsors. Vitality said on Wednesday it was suspending its sponsorship as the club’s official wellness partner and would speak to West Ham “to understand what steps they would take to remedy the situation”.

Zouma started for West Ham in a 1-0 win over Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday night, hours after the club initially condemned the defender’s actions.

In their statement on Wednesday, the London club said the case involving Zouma was being treated “with the utmost seriousness” and expected the RSPCA to complete its investigation “in a fair and thorough manner”.

Amid growing public calls for Zouma to be prosecuted for animal cruelty, the RSPCA has confirmed she has custody of the cats.

“Both cats are now in the care of the RSPCA. Our priority is and always has been the welfare of these cats,” the organization said in a statement. “They have been taken for a vet check and will then remain in our care while the investigation continues.”

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

About Chuck Keeton

Check Also

Overcrowding at Montgomery County Animal Shelter Leads to Changes in Operations

Concerns about overcrowding at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter prompted commissioners to appoint County Judge …