There is new hope for West Ham star Kurt Zouma after a major development which could hold the key to his France future.
Zouma is making his way back from a knee operation at West Ham and it remains to be seen whether he is available for this weekend’s crucial clash with Wolves.
The 28-year-old was a starter for World Cup finalists France when he signed for West Ham.
But he was well and truly cast aside by his national team’s federation following his now infamous cat attack saga.
Didier Deschamps criticised the £29m West Ham defender when the revelations broke last season and has omitted him from selection for France ever since.
“I was very surprised by Kurt,” Deschamps said back in February (Sport Bible).
“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.”
The France manager added: “I’m not a prosecutor. I am here to make selections on different criteria. 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 gave his first interview since the cat incident ahead of the 2022 World Cup in which he once again apologised profusely and admitted he was dreaming of being recalled by France for Qatar.
That was not to be as Deschamps overlooked the West Ham man despite some chronic injury issues in defence.
There had been suggestions the French Football Federation had blocked Deschamps from selecting Zouma since the cat attack.
Now there is new hope for West Ham star Zouma after a major development which could hold the key to his France future.
Because FFF president Noël Le Graët has been forced to stand down and his director general Florence Hardouin has been dismissed for a number of reasons including the former’s sole decision to renew Deschamps’ France contract despite clamour for Zinedine Zidane to succeed him.
RMC Sport have published an account of this morning’s FFF executive board meeting which resulted in Le Graët withdrawing from the presidency and director-general Hardouin being dismissed.
The board had increasingly turned against Le Graët in the wake of his recent dismissive comments on Zidane as well as his lone decision to renew Deschamps’ deal without informing the committee.
It could mean any new France president moves to bring in a replacement for Deschamps and pay off his contract.
That in itself could open the door for West Ham star Zouma to be recalled by his country.
And if it was Le Graet and/or Hardouin behind the decision not to consider Zouma for France selection then a new president could be good news for the West Ham man.
Zouma will undoubtedly be encouraged. Although given his injury issues since arriving at the London Stadium, West Ham may not be as enthused.