Premier League club, West Ham have condemned the actions of defender Kurt Zouma after a video of him kicking a pet cat hit the internet on Tuesday.
The French defender can be seen in the video, originally published by The Sun, kicking the cat across the floor and also hitting it in the face.
Zouma has been heavily criticised on social media with many people demanding his prosecution for animal cruelty.
The defender has since apologised for his behaviour in a statement.
“I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret,” he said.
“I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video. 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.”
A video obtained by The Sun allegedly shows footballer Kurt Zouma kicking and hitting his cat.
It’s absolutely disgusting and disturbing footage. I hope he is prosecuted for animal cruelty. pic.twitter.com/3K7xMeHh5j
— Emily Hewertson 🇬🇧 (@emilyhewertson) February 7, 2022
The East London club have also condemned their player, insisting that the matter would be dealt with internally.
“West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of Kurt Zouma in the video that has circulated. 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.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has described the video, reportedly filmed by Zouma’s brother, Yoan, as upsetting.
“This is a very upsetting video. It’s never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise,” a spokesperson said.
“We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare.”