Kurt Zouma has pleaded guilty to kicking and slapping his pet cat.

Zouma has been charged with three animal welfare offences after the West Ham defender was alleged to have harmed one of his two cats.

A video came to light in February showing the France international appearing to kick and slap the animal.

The 27-year-old and his brother Yoan arrived at Thames Magistrates' Court on Tuesday for a first hearing, where Kurt pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act.

Yoan filmed the video and shared it on social media, and has himself been charged with two alleged offences in relation to the incident that took place on February 6.

In the video, Kurt Zouma was seen to kick the Bengal cat across his kitchen, before throwing shoes at it and slapping it on the head.

Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court the former Chelsea player could be heard saying: "I swear I'll kill it, I swear I'll kill it."

Kurt Zouma admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, while Yoan admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Kurt to commit an offence.

The RSPCA took both of the footballer's cats into care and started a process of bringing a prosecution case against both men in March.

Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: "It's never acceptable to treat an animal in this way and we were shocked when the video was first brought to our attention.

"What makes this case even more sad is the way the video was filmed and shared, making light of such cruelty.

"We hope this case will serve as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion and respect, and that we will not tolerate cruelty."

Sentencing has been adjourned until June 1.

Kurt Zouma has been charged with three animal welfare offences after the West Ham defender was alleged to have harmed his cat.

A video came to light in February showing the France international appearing to kick and slap one of his pets.

Zouma's younger brother Yoan filmed the video and shared it on social media, and has himself been charged with two alleged offences.

The RSPCA took both of Kurt Zouma's cats into care and started a process of bringing a prosecution case against the 27-year-old in March.

Both brothers will have to attend Thames Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Kurt Zouma is accused of two counts of causing "unnecessary suffering" to the cat, by kicking it in the abdomen and slapping it in the head, and a further count of failing to protect the cat from "pain suffering, injury or disease".

Yoan Zouma has been charged with aiding or abetting his brother to commit two of the above offences.

West Ham have made donations to nine different animal welfare charities from the fine administered to Kurt Zouma.

Footage obtained by the Sun last month showed France defender Zouma kicking and slapping his cat, leading to a public outcry.

Hammers boss David Moyes has continued to select Zouma, who alongside brother Yoan is facing the prospect of an RSPCA prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act.

West Ham fined Zouma the maximum two weeks' wages, reported to be worth £250,000, and promised to donate the money to charitable causes.

A statement from the club on Friday said those payments have now been made.

"A total of nine organisations, supporting the care and wellbeing of animals both in the United Kingdom and internationally, have been identified to receive significant payments which will go towards supporting the fantastic work they do," the statement read.

"West Ham United would like to thank everyone who contacted the club to propose animal welfare charities and good causes, along with our supporters who have been involved in the process of identifying those who have received financial support, ensuring that a huge positive has come from something negative."

Cats Protection, Celia Hammond Animal Trust, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, National Animal Welfare Trust, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, Pussycat Lodge Trust, Humane Society, International Fund Animal Welfare, and War Paws are the charities to which West Ham have donated.

France boss Didier Deschamps insisted his decision to drop Kurt Zouma was "only a sporting choice" and not linked to an incident that saw the defender appear to attack a pet cat.

Zouma was called up for World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Finland in November but was notably absent when Deschamps named his latest squad on Thursday.

Animal welfare charity the RSPCA has begun the process of bringing a prosecution against the West Ham player and his brother Yoan after video footage emerged of the alleged attack on the cat in February.

Zouma has continued to be selected by West Ham boss David Moyes in spite of public outrage, although the 27-year-old has been fined "the maximum amount possible" – reported to be £250,000 – and has apologised.

Deschamps was asked about the reason for leaving Zouma out of his plans for friendlies against Ivory Coast and South Africa, and stressed he had not taken off-field factors into account.

"I don't know if it's a strong choice," he said of Zouma's omission. "I don't know, because I haven't called him up systematically.

"In November, he came because Raphael Varane was injured. This remains a sporting choice, only sporting, as with all the choices I make.

"I've had him on the telephone and spoken with him about this affair, but I'm not going to go back over that. I've spoken about it. It remains solely a sporting choice."

Zouma started four games for France in 2021 but was often not actively involved, as Deschamps indicated.

There was also no room in France's latest 23-player group for Olivier Giroud, despite the veteran striker helping Milan lead the way in the Serie A title race.

Giroud has not featured for France since Les Bleus exited Euro 2020 at the hands of Switzerland last June.

Deschamps said: "It's going well for him at the moment. He's scoring important goals with Milan. I'm happy for him.

"I've got decisions to make. I know what Olivier is capable of doing with us. He remains available to France even if I haven't called him up for this get-together."

The head coach handed first call-ups to RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku and Lens defender Jonathan Clauss, saying he had been impressed with their club performances and adding: "I think now is the right time to have a look at them."

France play Ivory Coast in Marseille on March 25, and South Africa in Lille four days later.

France squad: Areola (West Ham), Lloris (Tottenham), Maignan (Milan); Clauss (Lens), Digne (Aston Villa), L Hernandez (Bayern Munich), T Hernandez (Milan), Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Kounde (Sevilla), Pavard (Bayern Munich), Varane (Manchester United); Guendouzi (Marseille), Kante (Chelsea), Pogba (Manchester United), Rabiot (Juventus), Tchouameni (Monaco); Ben Yedder (Monaco), Benzema (Real Madrid), Coman (Bayern Munich), Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Nkunku (RB Leipzig).

West Ham boss David Moyes says he hopes the actions of defender Kurt Zouma don't serve to "blight" the "good things" being done on and off the pitch at the London club.

French defender Zouma attracted consternation from across the game after a disturbing video of him kicking and slapping his pet cat emerged last week. The RSPCA have since taken Zouma's animals into care, and Zouma was fined the "maximum amount possible" by West Ham.

Despite describing his player's actions as "terrible" and "diabolical", Moyes attracted widespread criticism for choosing to start Zouma in a 1-0 win over Watford, and the defender was in line to start again at Leicester City, before withdrawing from the line-up through illness.

The West Ham boss now said the incident should not detract from either the club's good work in the community or the team's promising season on the pitch.

"We should not allow this to blight anything which has gone on before," Moyes told Sky Sports in the aftermath of the Hammers' 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium. 

"A player has made a mistake, and there are plenty of managers with players who have made mistakes.

"Somewhere along the line you always hope there is a little bit of forgiveness, people are willing to accept they made a mistake, [they have] given an apology and we hope that is the case.

When asked about Zouma's condition, Moyes responded: "He was ill before the game, he wanted to play, we wanted him to play as well."

David Moyes will continue to pick Kurt Zouma despite the West Ham defender being the subject of an investigation after attacking his pet cat.

A disturbing video surfaced this week showing Zouma kicking and slapping his cat.

The player's two pets have since been taken into the care of the RSPCA, which is investigating the clip with the support of West Ham.

The Hammers have already fined Zouma "the maximum amount possible" – reported to be £250,000 – but he remains available for selection.

Zouma, who has apologised, played against Watford on Tuesday and will again be among manager Moyes' options against Leicester City this weekend.

Moyes said ahead of that game: "There are different views whether he should be available. We decided he should. I stand by that.

"I don't think a club could have taken action any quicker than they've done at the moment. West Ham have done a really good job.

"I'm not condoning him, his actions were terrible, they were diabolical, but we've chosen to play him and we stand by that.

"We will get him some help. We are trying to do as much as we can as a club, as a team, to help him.

"Like people who maybe have drink-driving offences, most of them have to go to classes to learn the reasons and the damage that can be done.

"I think RSPCA are going to provide us some courses for Kurt to understand about animals and how to treat them.

"He's incredibly remorseful. Like everybody else, in life sometimes you need a bit of forgiveness. He's hoping he is forgiven for a bad action."

Michail Antonio believes West Ham team-mate Kurt Zouma's punishment for abusing his cat should not be more severe than the sanctions handed out to those convicted of racist abuse.

Zouma was filmed kicking and slapping his cat, prompting West Ham to issue the defender a £250,000 fine – which will be donated to charity – while animal charity RSPCA removed the Frenchman's cats.

However, the 27-year-old was not dropped from the Hammers' starting line-up, with manager David Moyes selecting him in the 1-0 win over Watford in their subsequent fixture.

Zouma's presence on the pitch was met with criticism, but Antonio feels those calling for the centre-back to be sacked are going too far in light of the punishments put in place for players that are found guilty of using racist language.

"I've got a question for you," Antonio said to a Sky Sports reporter. "Do you think what he's done is worse than racism?

"I'm not condoning a thing that [Zouma] has done. I don't agree with what he's done at all.

"But, there's people that have been convicted, caught for racism and have played football afterwards. They got punished, they got an eight-game punishment or something like that.

"But people are now calling for people to be sacked, for them to lose their livelihood. I've just got to ask this question to everyone out there: Is what he's done worse than what the people have done that [have been] convicted for racism?"

West Ham's next fixture is a Premier League game against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday as the Hammers compete to finish in the top four.

France head coach Didier Deschamps labelled Kurt Zouma's behaviour "shocking" and "intolerable" after a video emerged of the West Ham defender abusing his cat.

The 27-year-old's actions were condemned by his club – who fined him a reported £250,000 and donated it to charity – along with the RSPCA, who took Zouma's cats into care, and several other animal welfare organisations.

Adidas also cancelled their contract with the centre-back after seeing the footage.

However, Zouma was still selected by Hammers manager David Moyes for the 1-0 Premier League win over Watford on Tuesday after the player said he was "deeply sorry" for his actions.

Deschamps also strongly criticised Zouma but refused to rule out selecting him for international duty.

"I was very surprised by Kurt," Deschamps said on France 3. "This is something that is inadmissible, intolerable, and cruelty without a name.

"These images are shocking and unbearable."

He added: "I'm not a prosecutor. I am here to make selections on different criteria.

"It's happened to me before that players who have made mistakes have not been selected for a while. I will not change my way of doing things for the next squad."

Zouma has been capped 11 times at international level and was part of France's Euro 2020 squad.

The defender has played 15 times for West Ham this season as Moyes' side push for a top-four finish in the Premier League as well as a deep run into the Europa League.

West Ham have confirmed Kurt Zouma has been fined "the maximum amount possible" while the club assist an investigation from the RSPCA into a video showing the defender kicking and slapping his cat.

The disturbing clip surfaced on Monday, with Zouma's actions condemned by the Hammers, RSPCA and other animal welfare groups.

While a statement from Zouma said he was "deeply sorry", he was still selected by David Moyes for Tuesday's match against Watford, which West Ham won 1-0.

"It is certainly ongoing and the club are dealing with it," Moyes told BT Sport after the match, and a statement followed from West Ham on Wednesday.

Both the club and the RSPCA confirmed Zouma's two cats had been taken into care, while his fine – reported to be worth £250,000 – will be donated to charity. Further punishment may follow the RSPCA's investigation.

West Ham said: "West Ham United can confirm that the club is supporting an RSPCA investigation into the actions of Kurt Zouma in the video circulated online this week.

"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 player has immediately accepted the fine and has requested that it is donated to animal welfare charities.

"West Ham United would like to reiterate our condemnation of Kurt's actions and make it clear that the matter continues to be handled with the utmost seriousness.

"However, 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 said in a short message on Twitter: "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."

West Ham boss David Moyes has defended his decision to start Kurt Zouma in the victory over Watford on Tuesday.

A disturbing video surfaced on Monday showing the defender kicking a cat across the kitchen floor at his home, while also slapping it while in a child's arms.

Obtained by The Sun, the footage was filmed by Zouma's brother Yoan, who can be heard laughing, and posted on Snapchat.

The France international released a statement earlier on Tuesday saying he was "deeply sorry", while the incident was condemned by the club, RSPCA and other animal welfare groups.

Zouma nevertheless started the Hammers' showdown with Watford at the London Stadium, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win that lifted Moyes' team up to fourth in the Premier League.

While Moyes acknowledged the widespread disappointment and backlash to what he described as "a poor situation", he insisted the matter is being dealt with internally.

"I am really disappointed, and the club have taken all the actions that they can do at the moment," he told reporters in his post-match press conference.

"They are working on that behind the scenes. My job is to pick the best team for West Ham and Kurt was part of that team.

"I think the club would rather deal with it all in time, and they will let you know what the action is.

"I was really disappointed with what I saw and what I was told. But as I've said, it was my job to find the best team for West Ham. There will be people who will be disappointed at that and I understand that totally.

"I am someone who cares a lot about my dogs and horses and all the people I am connected with. I have spoken to him, and we will move on as much as we can. 

"We wanted to get this game out of the way, and we understand nobody will be pleased about it. It is a poor situation."

West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma says he is "deeply sorry" after disturbing footage showed him kicking and hitting his own cat.

The 27-year-old France international can be picking up the cat and kicking it across the kitchen floor, chasing it and also slapping it while in a child's arms.

The footage, obtained by The Sun, was filmed by Zouma's brother Yoan, who can be heard laughing, and posted on Snapchat.

"I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video," Zouma said in an apology statement.

"I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy.

"They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again."

The Hammers put out a statement, condemning Zouma's actions and stating the matter would be dealt with internally.

"West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated," the club statement said.

"We have spoken to Kurt and will be dealing with the matter internally, but we would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals."

Early Premier League leaders West Ham have signed defender Kurt Zouma from London rivals Chelsea on a four-year deal.

The Hammers revealed they have paid an undisclosed fee, reported to be around £25million, to land the France centre-back.

Zouma, capped eight times by his country, made 151 appearances for the Blues following his move from Saint-Etienne in 2014.

The 26-year-old won two Premier League titles, the Champions League and the EFL Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Zouma has spent loan spells with Everton and Stoke City and he is on the move again in a permanent switch to join David Moyes' high-flying side.

"I'm very happy and very proud," Zouma told the Hammers' official website.

"My conversation with the manager went very fast. I just felt like he really wanted me to come and join the team, especially a good team that's started the season very, very well.

"With the great season that West Ham had last year, that gave the team a lot of confidence to improve this year – and I want to help the team do that."

 

Manchester City's interest in signing Tottenham's Harry Kane is widely known but a deal appears no closer to materialising. 

The 28-year-old forward was absent for the two sides' Premier League game on Sunday, when Spurs took the points.

City have reportedly bid up to £125 million to sign the England international, who reportedly requested a move late last season.

TOP STORY - KANE FRUSTRATED AS SPURS REJECT CITY BID

Kane has grown frustrated with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and thrown down the gauntlet with a proposed move to Manchester City, reports The Telegraph.

According to the report, the England forward feels that Levy has not honoured their meeting at the end of the 2019-20 season when he requested to leave Spurs if they underachieved.

Kane is also frustrated that Levy's tactics have seen fans turned against him and that the chairman is also refusing to sell or even accept calls from City.

The report claims that City have submitted a fresh £125m bid for Kane, which Spurs have turned down.

 

ROUND-UP

- El Larguero claims that Paris Saint-Germain director Leonardo has informed the players that Kylian Mbappe will stay to see out the remainder of his contract, due to expire in mid-2022, scuppering Real Madrid's hopes of signing him this month or in January.

- Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite and Miralem Pjanic are all on the chopping block at Barcelona, according to Diario AS, which claims the Catalans must sell three players this month to reduce their salary bill despite Lionel Messi's exit.

- Martin Odegaard is set to re-join Arsenal on a permanent deal from Real Madrid, says Fabrizio Romano. Talks are at their final stages with a deal until 2026.

- Tottenham are keen on Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma, reports Sky Sports. The Blues would demand a £25 million fee for the Frenchman.

- Internazionale are in talks to sign forward Marcus Thuram from Moenchengladbach, claims Sky Sport Italia.

- The Sun reports that Wolves are talking to Olympiacos about signing Portuguese defender Ruben Semedo on a one-year loan.

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