Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Sports | By Grace Becker

Hope Solo accuses former FIFA Pres. Blatter of sexual assault

Hope Solo accuses former FIFA Pres. Blatter of sexual assault

USA goalkeeper Hope Solo has accused former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter of sexual harassment.

Solo told Portugese publication Expresso that Blatter grabbed "my ass" at the January 2013 Ballon d'Or ceremony.

The 36-year-old Solo, her country's standout goalkeeper, claimed the 81-year-old Blatter pounced as she was about to present an award to her teammate Abby Wambach. She said it occurred just before she presented the women's player of the year award at the Ballon D'or in Switzerland.

Solo was at the awards show to present the women's player of the year award to her US teammate Abby Wambach.

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Solo went on to say that she'd witnessed harassment by coaches, general managers and press officers during her time as a professional soccer player, and that she hoped speaking out about her incident with Blatter would inspire others to speak up so that perpetrators of sexual harassment could face consequences.

In a statement to the Guardian, a spokesman for Blatter said the incident never took place. "Can-I-talk-about-that-" target="_blank">Portuguese magazine Expresso about sexual harassment in women's sports and its prevalence.

"I've seen it throughout my entire career and I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences".

Solo has taken to social media to praise those who have spoken out against sexual harassment using the hashtag #MeToo.

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'Silence will not change the world!' Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men - such as playing with a lighter ball.

Solo hasn't played for the USWNT since she was suspended from the program in 2016.

It is not the first time Blatter, who won five elections as Federation Internationale de Football Association president between 1998 and 2015 before being banned for ethic breaches, has faced criticism for his treatment of women.

In 2004, Blatter was widely criticized for sexist comments about women's soccer.

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