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

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

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

American soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo has accused ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexual assault, alleging he grabbed her buttocks at FIFA's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in January 2013.

"I had Sepp Blatter grab my a-", Solo told Expresso when asked about sexual harassment in women's soccer.

The World Cup victor, 36, says the incident happened at the 2013 Ballon d'Or awards, before she went on stage to present an award. Solo and Blatter presented the Federation Internationale de Football Association women's player of the year award to Solo's US national team teammate Abby Wambach at the ceremony on January 07, 2013, in Zurich.

Solo said she never saw Blatter again after the ceremony and was disappointed not to be able to "tell him directly, 'Don't ever touch me!'"

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

Blatter, speaking through his spokesman, denied the incident.

"I speak out directly [with people] when things like that happen".

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Solo, who with 202 appearances, is the most capped goalkeeper in USA soccer history, is an advocate for equality, including equal pay for women in sports.

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

"For the past few days, I have been thinking about all the uncomfortable situations myself and/or my team-mates have experienced throughout the years with trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even team-mates", she wrote on Instagram.

For her career, Solo has made 202 total appearances with the national team, with 153 wins and an international-record 102 shutouts.

'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.

Blatter, now 81, was banned by Federation Internationale de Football Association in 2015 after serving as president since 1998. In 2004, he landed in hot water after saying women's soccer should use sex appeal as a way to grow the game.

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

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