We don’t need Poirot for this…

OPINION: Met’s response to Kurt Zouma video footage suggests it may be institutionally cattist

Thursday, 10th February — By Richard Osley

West Ham v Spurs

IT’S not hard, is it? We don’t have to get the little grey cells working overtime on this one. We don’t have to wonder whether it was Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with a lead pipe or Professor Plum with a staple gun in the pantry.

We have video footage of the crime and the culprit – if there are any detectives reading: psst it was Kurt Zouma! – actually confessing to the fact he dropkicked his cat across the kitchen floor by apologising.

And yet – here we are – the Met says it will not be investigating the West Ham defender’s behaviour.

When I saw the exposé headline in The Sun I assumed, reasonably given past form, that it would all have been exaggerated. Maybe Zouma accidentally trod on the puss while it was circling around the fridge hoping for milk.

But – no – if anything The Sun was underselling it: If sending the cat into Row Z wasn’t enough, the poor thing got some slaps around the chops too.

The only possible assumption about the Met’s approach is that it is institutionally cattist. Or at the very least have some sort of an unconscious bias against cats because they are not much use on raids and are rubbish at sniffing out cannabis dealers at the top of Camden Town tube station.

If it had been a dog, they would have had Zouma in the cells by lunchtime. By responding with “no further action”, some other Chester will probably have got a walloping this morning. If you can do what Zouma did and well… not much happens… then it’s open season for all the other spineless bullies who think pets are rag-dolls. The RSPCA instead have taken charge and removed the cats from his “care”. Good.

While on recent performance, we might have guessed that the Met might be slow about taking up the case (Detectives: pssst it was Boris in the garden), you have to wonder what was going on in the minds of the West Ham management. Less than 24 hours after the video footage was revealed, Zouma was back in the claret colours and in the first team against Watford.

The decision seems clear here: it was more important for the Hammers to have their strongest team possible out – to win a football match – than to send any other message.

Anybody who believes in education and redemption would not think Zouma has to be spend the next 40 years in jail – but David Moyes spent longer swearing on how to beat non-league Kidderminster than whether he should be in the first team this week. Yes, there was a club fine but what’s money to a footballer? A longer pause was needed.

“We would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals,” a solemn club statement said, as if such a life view wasn’t a given.

It’s certainly come to something when you feel you have to say that.

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