David Moyes has defended West Ham over their response to the shocking Kurt Zouma cat video and revealed whether he will be available to face Leicester this weekend.
Zouma has been fined two weeks wages, which equates to around £250,000, after a video on social media showed him hitting and kicking his pet cat. The centre-back’s brother, Yoan Zouma, has been suspended by National League side Dagenham and Redbridge, as he was the one who recorded the footage and posted it online.
The RSPCA have taken the cats into their care and are currently carrying out an investigation.
West Ham caused controversy on Tuesday as they decided not to suspend Kurt Zouma, meaning he was eligible to face Watford at the London Stadium.
And at his latest press conference, Moyes confirmed the 27-year-old will be free to play the Foxes on Sunday.
“Yes, he’s available to play against Leicester,” the manager said (via football.london). “There are different views, different opinions over whether he should be available or not. We as a club took the decision to say he should be available and I stand by that.
“I don’t think the club could have taken more action, any quicker, than what they’ve done. West Ham have done a really good job in fining him maximum wages. I am not condoning his actions, we all accepted they were diabolical. But we’ve chosen to play him and we stand by that.
Moyes says Kurt Zouma is ‘remorseful’
“He is very disappointed and incredibly remorseful. Like everybody else, you need forgiveness and he is hoping he is forgiven for a bad action.
“We must not foget many of us in life make mistakes and we are hoping people out there give him a little bit of forgiveness.
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“Like drink driving offences, most people have to go to classes to learn the reasons and the damage that can be done. The RSPCA are going to provide him with courses to understand about animals and how to treat them.”
The Irons are having another impressive season, as they sit in fourth spot after 24 outings. They are firmly in the mix to snatch the last Champions League place ahead of Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham.
‘You never know what you’re going to get’
But Zouma’s despicable actions are bringing unwanted attention to the club, which could prove to be a distraction.
“I’ve never had one [an incident] like this,” Moyes added. “As a football manager it shows you never know what you’re going to get.
“I hoped I would never have an incident like this and I hope I never will again but that’s part of being in this job.
“It is out there and we are really disappointed with it. We’d rather we weren’t making news. West Ham have made really, really good news in the last two years.”
Looking ahead to Brendan Rodgers’ team, the Scot continued: “I think Leicester have got a really good side.
“Over the years they’ve done unbelievably well. They were FA Cup winners and recently league winners. Because of the way they’ve built it, you look at their facilities and their recruitment over the years, Leicester have been a very good model for teams trying to improve, such as West Ham.
“They’re maybe not quite in the best moment right now. [But] they’re a really strong team, have an excellent manager, and it’ll be a really tough game for us.”