Animal welfare charities are to share the £250,000 fine handed to West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma by his club after he was filmed kicking his pet cat.
The club has confirmed that the defender has been fined the maximum amount possible. This is reportedly two weeks wages, which totals £250,000.
“The player has immediately accepted the fine, which both he and the Club agreed will be donated to animal welfare charities,” said West Ham in a statement.
Video footage was circulated earlier in the week showing Zouma dropping, kicking, and hitting one of his cats.
Both Zouma’s cats have now been taken into the care of the RSPCA, which is investigating the French international footballer’s actions.
West Ham added: “Kurt and the Club are co-operating fully with the investigation and the player has willingly complied with the steps taken in the initial stage of the process, including delivering his family’s two cats to the RSPCA for assessment.
“Kurt is extremely remorseful and, like everyone at the Club, fully understands the depth of feeling surrounding the incident and the need for action to be taken.
“Separate to the RSPCA’s investigation and pending further sanction once the outcome of that process is determined, West Ham United can confirm that Kurt Zouma has been fined the maximum amount possible following his actions in the video that circulated.”
The statement added: “We believe it is now important to allow the RSPCA to conduct their investigation in a fair and thorough manner and will be making no further comment at this stage.”
The RSPCA has confirmed it is investigation is underway but “we need to follow the proper legal process and not discuss due to UK GDPR laws”.
Update on viral footage of cats— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) February 9, 2022
We'd like to reassure people that we're investigating and the cats are safe and in our care. We have been dealing with this since before the clip went viral online and we need to follow the proper legal process and not discuss due to UK GDPR laws. pic.twitter.com/LticInSmpn