West Ham boss defends Kurt Zouma's alleged pet cat abuse

Kurt Zouma has handed over his cats to the RSPCA

Kurt Zouma has handed over his cats to the RSPCA - Credit: PA

West Ham boss David Moyes has pleaded for forgiveness for Kurt Zouma after the defender appeared to kick his pet cat in a video.

Zouma is continuing to play for the Hammers despite the public outcry, sponsors dropping the club and the player, and the RSPCA – which has confiscated his two cats – investigating the video of him kicking and slapping the animal.

His brother, Yoan Zoumer has been suspended from Dagenham & Redbridge FC and will not play in any competitive matches while the RSPCA completes its probe.

Yoan Zouma of Dagenham during Dagenham & Redbridge vs Dover Athletic, Vanarama National League Footb

Yoan Zouma has been suspended from Dagenham & Redbridge for allegedly filming his brother Kurt Zouma kicking his cats - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

The club condemned the 27-year-old for his alleged role filming the footage.

The Daggers' defender said he deeply regretted his involvement in the video and apologised “unreservedly” for the “upset and distress” caused. 

David Moyes said of star player Kurt: “We all make mistakes in life. The boy is incredibly remorseful. He’s incredibly upset at what he did – he did a terrible thing,.

“But if it’s the case that there’s no forgiveness, then… we’ve all made mistakes and we’ll all continue to make mistakes in life.

“We have to give people opportunities. He said he got it wrong, made a big mistake, so I’m hoping people will see it in a different way and see it with forgiveness.

“The club are doing everything they possibly can. We’ll send him to the RSPCA who are going to help him, just like if somebody had a drink-driving offence, we’d get them help.

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“We’d hope those people would get better and never do that again.”

Kurt Zouma has been fined the maximum two weeks’ wages, which will go to animal charities, but there are still calls for him to be suspended while an online petition to get him prosecuted has topped 300,000 signatures.

Moyes added: “I wish this situation had never happened. I wish we weren’t even talking about this. But if any good is going to come out of this, then they are going to get a substantial money, the charities.

“I can understand the public’s opinion. But I’m also one of the public. I see myself as a football supporter, a human being.

“I understand where everybody else is with this, I really do. I can’t condone it, what he’s done. But as a football club, and me as a football manager, we are doing what we see fit.”