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David Moyes reveals Kurt Zouma WILL play for West Ham against Leicester this weekend

West Ham manager David Moyes reveals cat-kicker Kurt Zouma WILL keep playing – and claims the Frenchman is ‘getting help’ for his ‘diabolical’ actions

  • David Moyes has revealed that Kurt Zouma will not be dropped by West Ham
  • The French defender is still available to play for the club at Leicester on Sunday
  • Zouma was filmed kicking his cat this week, which was taken away by the RSPCA
  • The 27-year-old could face RSPCA and criminal sanctions for the video
  • Moyes has defended the club for playing Zouma against Watford on Tuesday
  • The Scot describes Zouma as a ‘really good lad’ but his actions were ‘diabolical’ 


Kurt Zouma will start for West Ham at Leicester on Sunday with manager David Moyes saying his defender will ‘rightly’ receive hostile welcomes to every stadium he visits from now on for his ‘diabolical’ behaviour.

Sportsmail broke the news in Thursday’s newspaper that the Champions League-chasing club would continue to play Zouma despite the ferocious backlash to the footage of the Frenchman kicking and slapping his pet cat.

Moyes confirmed he will not be dropping Zouma at his press conference yesterday, adding he does not regret the decisions he’s made and insisting he knows ‘exactly where my moral compass is’.

David Moyes (left) has confirmed that Kurt Zouma will play against Leicester on the weekend

West Ham were criticised for playing Zouma against Watford on Tuesday after a video emerged of him kicking his cat, which were seized from him

West Ham were criticised for playing Zouma against Watford on Tuesday after a video emerged of him kicking his cat, which were seized from him

Zouma, who played against Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday night, has been widely condemned after a video emerged of him allegedly dropping, kicking and slapping the animal

Zouma, who played against Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday night, has been widely condemned after a video emerged of him allegedly dropping, kicking and slapping the animal

Zouma, has been widely condemned after a video emerged of him allegedly hitting the animal

Zouma remains under investigation by the RSPCA, while his club have fined him two weeks’ wages worth £250,000. Moyes considers that, along with the verbal abuse he’ll receive from rival supporters at stadiums, sufficient punishment and asked for ‘forgiveness’ for his player.

‘We all make mistakes in life,’ Moyes said ahead of tomorrow’s trip to the King Power Stadium. ‘I am not condoning his actions. We all accepted they were diabolical. But we’ve chosen to play him and I stand by that.

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

‘He is really remorseful and disappointed in his actions. There will be reactions at football grounds, which he will have to expect and rightly so. He played the other night and I thought the West Ham supporters gave him a good reception.

Moyes described the defender's actions as 'diabolical' but says Zouma is a 'really good lad'

 Moyes described the defender’s actions as ‘diabolical’ but says Zouma is a ‘really good lad’

Moyes (right) says Zouma is 'incredibly remorseful' and is seeking help from the RSPCA

Moyes (right) says Zouma is ‘incredibly remorseful’ and is seeking help from the RSPCA

Why would the RSPCA investigate instead of the police?

Investigations into animal welfare incidents are generally led by the RSPCA.

The charity has a long established expertise in both the investigation and prosecution of cases involving animal welfare and has built up a useful body of precedent and case law over the years.

However they can call in police and local council officials to help with their investigations.

County Council Trading Standards, for instance, may investigate instances involving farmed animals. 

Cases put forward to the courts by the RSPCA are done so as private prosecutions – which mean they are not put forward by the CPS.

They are brought under the Animal Welfare Act. Last year the maximum prison sentence for animal cruelty was raised from six months to five years.

Last year it was reported that the RSPCA could end the practice of private prosecution and turn over its files to the Crown Prosecution Service instead

The charity said the move would allow it to continue its ‘frontline work’. 

‘Kurt knows he has made mistakes and he will have to take his punishment. We’ve punished him as a club as much as we feel is right to do. We know there could be other sanctions as well. We’ll try to do everything for him.

‘I understand how people feel. I really do. But now we’re asking for a bit of forgiveness from everybody. We all make mistakes.’ 

The £250,000 fine will be donated to animal charities, though critics have slated Moyes and West Ham for allowing Zouma to start in the 1-0 win over Watford at the London Stadium on Tuesday night. Sponsors have also severed ties with the club over that decision.

‘If you think missing the game is the answer, then would you know how many games you’d say he should miss?’ Moyes continued. ‘I think the financial side is as heavy as the club can give. I hope that, from that, the charities will benefit greatly from it.

‘I wish this 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 substantial money out of this, the charities.

‘At no time did the board come to me, which was very good. I made the decision (to play Zouma against Watford). I know exactly where my moral compass is. I understand what people feel. I’ve made my position clear. The club have made their position clear.’

Moyes insisted he’s treating Zouma the same way he would any other player and not giving him preferential treatment because he’s their best defender. 

The manager hopes, given the heat on the club, the team will come closer together. 

‘It is the sort of thing that pulls you together. Sometimes along the road, there are bumps. We’ve hit a big bump and we need to try to get over it.’

Zouma is being investigated by the RSPCA after his two cats were taken into their care

Zouma is being investigated by the RSPCA after his two cats were taken into their care

In a grovelling statement, the 27-year-old (above) said he was 'deeply sorry' over the incident

In a grovelling statement, the 27-year-old (above) said he was ‘deeply sorry’ over the incident

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