SPORT: Football
West Ham boss David Moyes says defender is ready for Leicester City game.

West Ham boss David Moyes has said Kurt Zouma is avail­able for Sun­day’s game at Leices­ter amid con­tro­ver­sy over the defend­er being filmed kick­ing his cat.

Ani­mal char­i­ty the RSPCA removed the 27-year-old’s two cats as they inves­ti­gat­ed the incident.

Moyes was crit­i­cised for pick­ing Zouma against Wat­ford on Tues­day after the video of the defend­er was released.

“There are dif­fer­ent views as to whether he should be avail­able. We have decid­ed that he should. I stand by that,” Moyes said.

Zouma was fined the max­i­mum amount by the Ham­mers, with the costs going to ani­mal wel­fare charities.

“I don’t think any club could have act­ed quick­er than they have at the moment. West Ham have done a very good job,” Moyes added.

“I don’t con­done it, his actions were ter­ri­ble. They were dia­bol­i­cal but we chose to play him and we’re stick­ing to that.

“We’re going to give him help. We’re try­ing to do every­thing we can as a club, as a team, to help him.

“Like peo­ple who may have drink­ing and dri­ving offens­es, most of them have to take class­es to learn about the rea­sons and the dam­age that can be done.

“I think the RSPCA is going to give us class­es so Kurt under­stands ani­mals and how to treat them,” he said.

“He has incred­i­ble remorse. Like every­one else in life, some­times you need a lit­tle for­give­ness. He hopes he will be for­giv­en for a bad action.”

The video also showed Zouma slap­ping his cat and was report­ed­ly filmed by his broth­er Yoan.

Yoan is at Dagen­ham & Red­bridge, who have said he will not play for the Nation­al League club until an RSPCA inves­ti­ga­tion is concluded.

The fall­out from the inci­dent has led Ger­man sports­wear com­pa­ny Adi­das to end its deal with the Ham­mers player.

West Ham’s spon­sor, Expe­ri­ence Kissim­mee, also ter­mi­nat­ed its con­tract with the club, while anoth­er of the Lon­don team’s spon­sors, Vital­i­ty, sus­pend­ed its con­tract with the Pre­mier League team.

West Ham signed Zouma for £29.8 mil­lion from Chelsea in August 2021 and he helped them to fourth place ahead of the game against the Foxes.

“I have nev­er had [an inci­dent] like this. As a soc­cer man­ag­er, it shows you nev­er know what you’re going to get,” Moyes said.

“It’s part of the job. We would rather not make the news. West Ham have made some very, very good news in the last two years.

“We have a very good team. I’m sad that the focus has been tak­en away from what is, at the moment, a very good season.”

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