Sepp Blatter accused of Sexual Assault

Solo is a two-time gold winner at the Olympics and said she was left'in shock by the Fifa president's alleged grope

Hope Solo, a star goalkeeper and former member of the United States football team, accused former FIFA President Sepp Blatter of sexually harassing her, in an interview published on Friday.

In an interview published Friday in the Portuguese newspaper Expresso, the former goalkeeper for the USA women's national team recounted what happened at the Ballon d'Or awards in 2013 in Zurich.

She revealed: "I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass [turns towards her press assistant, Melinda Travis]".

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"I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass".

The American soccer goalkeeper, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and World Cup champion Solo presented the award for Federation Internationale de Football Association women's player of the year that year on stage alongside Blatter to her colleague Abby Wambach after the US won gold at the Olympics in London in 2012. "I had to quickly pull myself together to present my team-mate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby".

Speaking about her own incident, Solo explained what happened to her at the prestigious trophy ceremony during the interaction with Blatter.

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Blatter, however, rejected all such claims against him, and called the allegation "ridiculous". "It can happen all across the board, it can happen between women", she continued. In the newspaper Expresso, the player expresses his desire to see more women take the word in the world of sport to denounce bad behaviour.

Blatter is the latest name to be linked with the growing sexual harassment saga that has seen hundreds of women come forward, from across all walks of life, to accuse men in positions of power of a variety of sexual harassment and assault claims. On his account Instagram, she wrote, with the hashtag #MoiAussi: "the past few days, I think back to all those uncomfortable situations that I and my co-équipières have lived for years with coaches, doctors, personal club..." I've seen it amongst players in the locker room. She said she hasn't seen him since. "I wish more women, especially in football, would speak against it, about the experiences, because some of those people still work [in football]".

Solo was also asked why she hadn't spoken out about the incident before. Over his years he faced criticism for a series of sexist remarks, including a suggestion in 2004 that female players could wear "tighter shorts" like "they do in volleyball" to make the game more appealing to a male audience.

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Blatter, 81, was banned by Federation Internationale de Football Association for six years in 2015 after his involvement in the Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption scandal.

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