Hope Solo accuses former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter of sexual assault

Rachel Hardy
November 11, 2017

In an interview with the Portuguese outlet published on Saturday, Solo claimed Blatter "grabbed my ass" at FIFA's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in January 2013, where Solo presented the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award on stage alongside Blatter.

In an interview with Portuguese newspaper Expresso, Solo said she "had Sepp Blatter grab my ass" before going on stage with the Swiss to present the FIFA Women's Player of the Year award for 2012 to U.S. team-mate Abby Wambach.

Solo, 36, said she continued on stage to present the award.

"It was at the Ballon d'Or one year".

Solo anchored the US team in goal during its 2015 Women's World Cup championship run, allowing just three goals in seven games with five shutouts during the tournament. She was presenting with the former head of the soccer organization, Sepp Blatter, who she said grabbed her.

A spokesman for Blatter told both Expresso and United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian that the accusations made by Solo were "ridiculous".

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Blatter, contacted via his spokesman, denied the claim, according to Expresso and The Guardian. I didn't get to tell him directly, 'Don't ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things.

Solo added she hopes other women athletes will speak up about their experiences.

She told Expresso that 'After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad. That needs to change. In 2004, he flared tempers when he suggested women female soccer players should wear "more feminine clothes", including "tighter shorts". "It can happen all across the board, it can happen between women, it can happen anywhere", she said.

Blatter, 81, was Federation Internationale de Football Association president from 1998 until 2015, when he was banned in relation to a payment of two million Swiss francs (€1.7m) to former UEFA chief Michel Platini. I've seen it amongst players in the locker room. "That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?"

Solo joined the USA women's national team in 2000 but has not played for the nation since the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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