West Ham vice chairman Karren Brady talks up support from club for under-fire defender

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By Martin Graham | 14th Feb 2022

West Ham United vice chairman Karren Brady has come out to talk about the club’s stance on Kurt Zouma’s incident, claiming the club has handled the issue the best way possible.

Zouma was filmed maltreating his pet cat by his brother Yoan who was also heard laughing at the incident in the background. The defender has since lost his boot sponsorship deal with Adidas and has had his pet cats (including the one in the video) taken away from him while being banned from ever owning pets.

West Ham have also fined the defender £250,000 which is the maximum fine for an indisciplinary act within the club. However, the club continues to receive calls to sack Zouma for his actions and have also lost sponsorship deals by brands who believe their handling of the issue is not commensurate to the nature of the offence.

Karren Brady, in her column in The Sun – the exposers of Zouma incident – has come out to condemn Zouma while also insisting the club has handled the incident the best way possible.

“Let me be absolutely clear – there is no defence for Kurt Zouma’s actions,” Brady wrote.

“I, like anyone who watched the video that circulated this week, was shocked by what I saw. Kurt’s behaviour in no way reflected the standards and values that we hold dear at West Ham United – and of course those of our pet-loving nation.

“Our stance on this as a Club has been clear from the very outset – we unreservedly condemn his actions and would never condone any form of cruelty towards animals.

“We have acted swiftly to fine him the maximum amount available to us.”

Zouma is extremely remorseful, Brady claims

Despite the fallouts of the incident and the player himself issuing a public apology, the British public are hot on West Ham’s trail to take more definitive action.

Hammers forward Michail Antonio has come up, however, to question the calls for Zouma’s sack by asking if Zouma’s actions are on the same level as acts of racism from a number of players who continue to play football to this day.

Manager David Moyes has also stood by the 27-year-old Frenchman and has even made it known that Zouma remains in the club’s plans for the upcoming games.

In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Moyes said: “Yes, he is available against Leicester and I stand by the decision to play him.

“It’s different views on if he should be available or not. We as a club took the decision that we made him available, and I stand by that.

“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 terrible and diabolical.

“We are so disappointed it is completely out of character from Kurt he is a really good lad we are going to get him some help and trying to give him as much help as we can.”

Brady, in her column in The Sun also echoed Moyes’ sentiments in her capacity as the Hammers’ vice chairman. She wrote: “I feel it is important and appropriate at this stage to stress that Kurt Zouma, the person, is entirely aware of the severity of his actions.

“It has been said before but I can say it again now, because I have seen it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears – he is extremely remorseful.

“He has said sorry, and has also apologised sincerely to everyone at the Club and the wider public.

“That is an important first step on what will be a journey of re-education and atonement and it is a journey we will fully support him on.”

Zouma’s national team boss slams defender’s actions as “intolerable”

France national team boss Didier Deschamps has also spoken out on the issue.

“I was very surprised by Kurt,” said the France manager. “This is something that is inadmissible, intolerable and cruelty without a name.

“I’m sure he became aware of it but these images are shocking and unbearable.”

While commenting on the issue, he was also asked if this incident would spell the end of Zouma’s international career. “I’m not a prosecutor. I am here to make selections on different criteria,” he replied.

“It could have happened to me when players could have made mistakes not to select them for a while, so I will not change my way of doing things for the next list.”

Zouma has 11 caps for France since 2015. He was not a part of the squad that won the World Cup and Nations League in the past few years, and currently hopes he can make it to the World Cup in December.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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