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'It's a cat' Kurt Zouma animal abuse played down as Premier League icon questions backlash

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Ex-Premier League star Olivier Dacourt has shared a controversial opinion over Kurt Zouma’s animal abuse saga after the West Ham defender was filmed slapping and kicking his pet cat. Hammers boss David Moyes has since come under fire for continuing to select the Frenchman, despite calls for him to face harsher punishment. 

After starting against Watford last week, just one day after the video surfaced, Zouma was once again in the starting line-up to face Leicester City on Sunday. 

He withdrew before kick-off with illness, however, leaving Issa Diop to deputise in a 2-2 draw. 

Moyes once again faced criticism for selecting Zouma despite an overwhelmingly negative reaction to the video, but former French international Dacourt, who has turned out for both Leeds United and Everton, has shared his own eyebrow-raising view. 

“I don’t want to defend what he did because it’s undefendable,” he explained to Canal+.

“But at the same time, it’s a cat. He’s been condemned, he’s paid a fine, he’s lost his sponsors. He hasn’t killed anyone.

“He made a mistake, he paid for it but now he should continue to play football.

“I don’t see so many people on social media defending wives or children who have been abused, or racist discrimination.”

Aside from the social media backlash, Zouma has so far been punished by paying the ‘maximum possible fine’ by West Ham, believed to be two weeks’ wages. 

The RSPCA also stepped in to seize his cats, although talk of animal welfare lessons or a sizable donation from Zouma’s end have so far been refuted. 

Dagenham and Redbridge took the decisive step to suspend Zouma’s younger brother, Yoan, who also featured in the video, until the RSPCA’s investigation concludes. 

But Sunday’s trip to the King Power Stadium was more evidence that the Hammers are content to carry on playing Zouma, despite the inevitable barrage from crowds around the Premier League. 

After pulling out of the tie with illness, Liverpool hero Graeme Souness was certainly reluctant to dish out any well wishes to the 27-year-old. 

“I have zero sympathy for him,” he told Sky Sports.

“If he turned up today, he could’ve got abuse from his own supporters.

“West Ham’s roots are in the East End of London, they’re salt of the earth people.

“The vast majority of them wouldn’t be accepting of what they saw on TikTok or whatever it was.”



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Ruud van Nistelrooy makes next job decision as Man Utd plan coaching appointment

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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

When Jose Mourinho took over, he opted to maintain his close relationship with Rui Faria – who had previously worked under him at clubs such as Real Madrid and Chelsea.

Fair departed in the summer of 2018, though, with Michael Carrick then given a place on Mourinho’s bench.

Carrick stayed to work under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Norwegian also regularly picking up the thoughts of Phelan and Kieran McKenna throughout his spell in the dugout.

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