Recall that the 27-year-old French defender has been one of the most talked-about footballers in the world for slapping and kicking one of his cats. Due to the incident, he has lost his endorsement deals and people are calling for him to be prosecuted.
Despite all the agitations against him, West Ham United used him in the Premier League game against Watford on February 8. West Ham United won the game 1-0.
Many critics were against West Ham United’s decision to use the player and caused more economic losses to the club which the club’s commercial department is battling with.
Amid that, ahead of the Premier League game against Leicester City on Sunday, February 13, 2022, West Ham United named Kurt Zouma in the club’s first eleven for the game.
In the pre-match press conference, coach David Moyes urged the club’s fans to forgive the French defender, adding that the defender is now very remorseful about the cat-kicking accident.
“We all make mistakes in life”, the coach said. “The boy is incredibly remorseful. He’s incredibly upset at what he did – he did a terrible thing.
“But if it’s the case that there’s no forgiveness, then… We’ve all made mistakes and we’ll all continue to make mistakes in life.
“We have to give people opportunities. He said he got it wrong, made a big mistake, so I’m hoping people will see it differently and see it with forgiveness.”
🗣 “There’s plenty of managers who had players who made mistakes, somewhere along the line you always hope there’s a little bit of forgiveness.”— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 14, 2022
David Moyes hopes that people can forgive Kurt Zouma for his actions pic.twitter.com/FG7dhNdpER
Hours before the game, West Ham United issued a statement to announce that Kurt Zouma has been dropped because he was ill. The French star was replaced by Issa Diop.
After the 2-2 draw, coach David Moyes told reporters that Zouma suffered a stomach-related illness hours before the game which left him with no choice but to stay out of the game.
Coach Moyes said: “He was ill before the game, he wanted to play, we wanted him to play as well. He was sick during the night, he stayed away from the players in the meetings and did not eat much.
“Once he got out he did not think it was possible. We told Issa Diop to be ready. It is a stomach bug, probably something he has eaten.”
Graeme Souness does not pity Kurt Zouma
Even though Kurt Zouma is said to be ill, Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness said he has zero sympathies for the French footballer since he had the guts to slap and kick a cat.
The English pundit believes that any pain the footballer is going through is not as worst as the pain the cat went through when Zouma slapped and kicked a cat.
Souness said: “I have zero sympathies for him. If he turned up today, he could’ve got abuse from his 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.
“I’ve got zero sympathies for him. I’ve got major problems with this. For me, looking at that video the cat hadn’t done anything wrong. It was picked up and it was abused for entertainment.
“It wasn’t out of anger… they were laughing. The example he sets there, and he smashes the cat out of the child’s arms. And then, and this is the biggest problem I have with it, they decide to put it on social media.
“The fact they then put it out on social media then suggests that they don’t see anything wrong with it and their behavior. They thought that people would find this funny. It’s just wrong on every level what they did.
“You can be too close to it and be blinded by what’s in front of you. For West Ham, this has been a masterclass in how not to handle a crisis.”
Graeme Souness says he has ‘zero sympathy’ for Kurt Zouma after the West Ham defender was filmed kicking his cat. pic.twitter.com/yUpggVtSWg— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 13, 2022