Report: West Ham star Kurt Zouma faces four years in prison following cat controversy

West Ham United v Watford – Premier League – London Stadium
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Under fire West Ham United star Kurt Zouma may face prison in his native France over the video of him abusing his cat.

In the video, the defender is seen slapping the animal and drop-kicking it. The clips have been met with widespread condemnation from the sporting world and various animal charities, with Zouma issuing a swift apology in the wake of the content surfacing yesterday.

Despite the controversy, David Moyes still chose to pick the centre-back for the game at home to Watford, stating he himself was an "animal lover" and that the decision was made for footballing reasons. Zouma was roundly booed and even the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has criticised the decision to field the Frenchman.

Now, Mail Online claim that Zouma isn't out of the woods yet over the controversy – and could yet be prosecuted.

A legal complaint has been said to be filed against Zouma back in Paris, with lawyers working for the 30 Million Friends Foundation (La Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis), the largest animal rights group in France, contacting prosecutors. A spokesman for the Foundation said, "We condemn this heinous act, have asked that the player be suspended from the France team, and filed a legal complaint against him."

According to article 113-6 of the French Penal Code, French citizens can be prosecuted for criminal acts carried out abroad. In 2021, France introduced new laws meaning that animal mistreatment can be punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of £50,000.

West Ham condemned Zouma's actions yesterday.

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