West Ham’s Kurt Zouma and brother Yoan have been charged by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act for their roles in filming Kurt kicking a cat.
Dagenham & Redbridge’s Yoan, 23, filmed 27-year-old Kurt kicking and slapping one of his pets.
After the video appeared, the RSPCA removed two cats from Kurt’s home and began liaising with Essex Police about the incident.
Kurt continued to play for West Ham despite the controversy.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “Following a full and thorough investigation, we have started the process of bringing a prosecution against Kurt Zouma and Yoan Zouma under the Animal Welfare Act.
“The two cats continue to be cared for by the RSPCA. We will be in a position to release more information once a court date is confirmed.”
Following the incident, West Ham said they had fined the elder brother “the maximum amount possible” and the fee would be donated to animal welfare charities.
However, Hammers sponsor Experience Kissimmee said it would end its deal with the club and another sponsor, Vitality, suspended its deal with the club.
German sportswear firm Adidas also announced it had ended its deal with Kurt.
National League club Dagenham & Redbridge said Yoan, who has not been picked since 29 January, would now return to the squad.
A club statement said “any further suspension from the team would be detrimental to both the club and Yoan”.
It continued: “A decision has been made therefore for Yoan to be available to play.
“The club reserves the right to take further action if deemed necessary after the conclusion of the court proceedings.”