David Moyes has confirmed that Kurt Zouma is available to play for West Ham United against Leicester City on Sunday despite the defender’s ongoing investigation with the RSPCA.
Last weekend, disturbing footage emerged of the 27-year-old defender kicking and slapping his pet can in his London home.
Zouma has since been fined £250,000 by the Hammers and has lost his sponsorship deal with Adidas, while the RSPCA have taken his pet cats into care as they conduct the investigation.
While Zouma’s younger brother Yoan Zouma, has been suspended by Dagenham & Redbridge for filming the footage, Moyes has revealed to the press that the Hammers centre-back is available for selection despite his “terrible and diabolical” actions.
“Yes he’s available to play against Leicester. There are different views and opinions on should he be available. We as a club took that decision and I stand by that,” said Moyes.
“I don’t think the club could take more action or any quicker. West Ham have fined him the maximum wages. We all accept the actions are terrible and diabolical, but we’ve chosen to play him and we stand by that.
“We are so disappointed it is completely out of character from Kurt. He is a really good lad we are going to get him some help and trying to give him as much help as we can.
“Like drink-driving offences, most people have to go to classes and the RSPCA are going to provide him with classes to understand about animals and how to treat them.
“We will do everything we can to make sure Kurt is looking into it, and getting better, and understanding it. The incident is terrible, we all totally agree with that. There was nobody in this football club who doesn’t agree with that.”
Zouma, who controversially started in West Ham’s 1-0 win over Watford on Tuesday, could potentially face up to four years in prison after a legal complaint was filed against the Frenchman in Paris, which has led to lawyers working for La Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis, the largest animal rights group in France, contacting prosecutors.