The outrage over the Kurt Zouma cats video has continued to build over the past few days which saw the animals seized by the RSPCA for medical checks.
While the organisation have stated the animals may yet be returned to the player, who was filmed kicking and slapping them in his home, sportswear giant Adidas have cancelled a lucrative sponsorship deal with the 27-year-old Frenchman rumoured to be worth around £100,000 per year.
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Despite the furore over allegations of animal cruelty against Zouma, West Ham United took the controversial decision to play him in Tuesday night’s clash against Watford which saw the player booed and jeered by both sets of fans. Zouma has been fined the maximum amount by the club, forced to publicly apologise to fans and players and will be sent on an animal cruelty awareness course as part of his punishment.
However this has failed to placate some of West Ham's major sponsors, as life insurance company Vitality have terminated their £500,000-a-year deal and other big names such as Umbro and Heineken are said to be evaluating their relationships with the club after condemning the abuse.
The contentious decision from the Premier League club, who currently sit fourth in the table, is set to continue over the weekend as the Daily Mail reports he will not be dropped from the team for Sunday’s match against Leicester City unless it is proved the cats suffered injury while in Zouma’s care. It’s a decision that is not likely to sit well with football fans or the general public as more than 100,000 people to date have signed a petition to have the defender prosecuted and his animals rehomed.
Police in the county of Essex, where the player resides have said that they are currently working with the RSPCA who made the following statement on Wednesday: “'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.'
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Dave has over 20 years experience in publishing during which he launched many successful magazine titles including How It Works, All About Space and All About History. He’s also pet parent to a retired police dog called Rebel, who can’t work anymore due to a health condition. When’s not busy trying to amuse a boisterous, three-year-old German Shepherd, Dave's the Editor on PetsRadar.