In pictures: Man Utd v West Ham
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West Ham would have ‘good grounds’ to sack Kurt Zouma after a video emerged of the Frenchman abusing a cat, former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan believes. The Hammers have ‘unreservedly condemned’ Zouma for his actions while the defender has apologised.
Footage obtained by the Sun showed Zouma slapping, kicking and throwing a designer shoe at the pet Bengal.
Zouma’s brother, Yoan, filmed while a child watched on. The video, posted to Snapchat, was captioned ‘sa commence’, meaning ‘it is starting’.
And ex-Palace chief Jordan believes West Ham would hold the right to terminate the Frenchman’s contract.
Zouma was £30million signing from Chelsea in the summer and has made 14 appearances this season.
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Jordan told talkSPORT: “We must be able to live in a redemptive society and have a situation where somebody looks at themselves and goes: ‘What the hell was I thinking? What was I doing? What was going on in my head that, A) I would do such a thing that was cruel, but B) I’d video it. So I’ve got no understanding of what I’m doing’.
“There’s no button in [Zouma’s] mind that says: ‘This isn’t very good, this is cruel’.
“You’ve got to look at the situation and think: ‘Okay, does this get this guy sacked? Does it get this guy out of a contract? Does it get this guy absolutely ruined?”
Pressed on whether it might be a sackable offence, Jordan added: “Is it a sackable offence? If you want to turn it into gross misconduct and bringing the club into disrepute, and ultimately damaging the reputation of the club – which contractually you’re not allowed to do – then you’d probably have good grounds to do so.
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“If you want to get into the nuts and bolts of what this player was thinking, why he would do such a thing, and want to find any reason to think there is a bit of redemption in there, and… people aren’t going to like this, but a bit of PR management to get the situation under control, then there will be some owners who think that way.
“Of course, there will be other owners who have a different viewpoint.
“They might not care what the player cost and think that he is just guilty of the most deplorable offence, so he gets sacked.”
Zouma’s club released a statement insisting the matter will be dealt with internally.
“West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated.
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“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.”
A statement by Zouma continued: “I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret.
“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.
“They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again.”
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