David Moyes Takes West Ham Hot Seat And People Aren’t Happy Jeanette1980/Pixabay

Premier League star Kurt Zouma is in hot water with the police and the RSPCA after he was caught on video kicking and slapping his Bengal cat. Although the 27-year-old West Ham United star has apologized for his actions, league bosses and netizens are not letting him off the hook so easily.

Zouma released a statement earlier saying how deeply regretful he was over the incident and has strongly insisted his pet cats were very much loved and cherished. "I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video. I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy," Zouma said.

West Ham bosses however, were quick to condemn Zouma’s actions after being made aware of the video that was widely circulated over the internet. “We have spoken to Kurt and will be dealing with the matter internally, but we would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals.”

Despite the reprimand, the West Ham defender was still handpicked to start the team in the Premier League match with Watford Tuesday night with media speculating if boss David Moyes was in any way influenced in his decision by the said video. "No, because he is one of our better players, but it is certainly ongoing and the club is dealing with it, so that is a separate matter," Moyes said.

However, animal-loving football fans who attended the match booed Zouma each and every time he touched the ball.

Warning: Graphic content

According to GOAL, in the video Zouma is seen drop-kicking the cat as he boots the feline mid-air and slaps it out out of a child’s arms. In another clip, is seen chasing the cat across the dining room while the cameraman laughs at which he then starts throwing shoes at it. Reports stated the player was angered after the feline had caused a mess inside his house.

Essex police and the RSPCA are working on inquiries to further throw light into the incident and determine if this was a case to prosecute. As it is, netizens have taken to social media to pressure the RSPCA with a petition calling for the organization to take appropriate action against Zouma. The petition has garnered 10,000 signatures as of writing this.

The RSPCA has the power to prosecute animal welfare cases but is still apprehensive in pursuing Zouma's case full-on unless there was a complaint made or if it was deemed necessary. Individuals found guilty of animal cruelty can be subject to a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

Representation Image Bengal Cat JanBarkmann/ Pixabay