Sports

Footballer Kurt Zouma sentenced to community service for abusing his cat


French international defender Kurt Zouma was sentenced on Wednesday 1er June by British justice to 180 hours of community service for having mistreated his cat, after the broadcast of a video that went viral which had provoked indignant reactions.

The 27-year-old West Ham player, who pleaded guilty to kicking and slapping his pet, was also banned by Thames Magistrates’ Court, London, from owning a cat for five year.

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A video and a wave of indignation

Judge Susan Holdham described his actions as “shameful and reprehensible”. The 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 she was shot after cat damage caused 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”.

The player’s two cats have since been handed over to animal welfare society RSPCA, which had launched proceedings for Kurt and Yoan Zouma to be prosecuted under animal welfare legislation. The London club had not suspended their player and had even made him play a match the evening of the revelation of the affair, provoking a huge wave of protests.

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The player was finally fined nearly 300,000 euros, the highest possible, imposed by his club and the sports equipment manufacturer Adidas had broken a sponsorship contract with him. West Ham had assured that, according to the information available to the club, the cats did not “suffered no physical injury”.

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The club then assured that the financial penalty imposed on the player had been donated to animal protection associations.



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