11 February 2022

David Moyes: Kurt Zouma available for West Ham selection against Leicester

11 February 2022

Kurt Zouma remains available for selection for West Ham’s Premier League trip to Leicester on Sunday, manager David Moyes has confirmed.

There have been calls for Moyes to drop the French defender over the video which emerged of him kicking and slapping his cat.

Moyes caused more controversy by picking Zouma to face Watford on Tuesday, barely 24 hours after the footage was released and amid a huge public outcry.

National League club Dagenham have suspended Zouma’s brother Yoan, who is understood to have filmed the video, while the RSPCA, which has taken the player’s two cats into its care, investigates the incident.

He's available to play against Leicester. We as a club took that decision and I stand by that

But Moyes said: “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.”

Zouma has been fined the maximum two weeks’ wages, which will go to animal welfare groups.

Moyes added: “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.

David Moyes has been criticised for picking Zouma (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

“We are so disappointed, it is completely out of character from Kurt. He is a really good lad and 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.

“We will do everything we can to make sure Kurt is looking into it, and getting better, and understanding it.”

Moyes has not been afraid to drop players for disciplinary reasons, having previously left Michail Antonio out for being late for team meetings.

But he said: “He’s (Zouma) treated the exact same way as any other player.”

The Scot hopes the incident will not detract from the great strides West Ham have made, on and off the field, over the past couple of years.

“I’ve never had (an incident) like this. As a football manager it shows you never know what you’re going to get,” he said.

“That’s part of being in this job. We’d rather we weren’t making news. West Ham have made really, really good news in the last two years.

“We’ve a really good side. I’m sad the focus has been taken away from what is, at the moment, a really good season.”

A petition to have Zouma prosecuted has now topped 300,000 signatures while West Ham have lost sponsors amid the backlash, with Experience Kissimmee cutting its ties with the club and Vitality suspending its sponsorship. Sportswear firm adidas has also dropped Zouma.

Zouma is free to continue playing (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Moyes said: “The situation is terrible, the incident is terrible, we all totally agree with that. There is nobody at this football club who does not agree with that.

“Sponsorship, if it gets taken away, is something the club will deal with, not me.

“As I said the other night we are so disappointed, it was completely out of character for Kurt. We have never seen this and he is a really good lad.

“I’m really surprised by it and he is getting help so we are trying to do as much as we possibly can as a club and a team to help him.”

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