Solo accuses ex-FIFA president Blatter of sexual assault

Hope Solo says that Sepp Blatter grabbed her'a** just before they went on stage to award Solo's Team USA colleague with the prestigious Ballon d'Or in 2013

Blatter, the ousted head of the global soccer governing body, is the latest prominent man to be accused of sexual misconduct after USA women's soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo accused him of assaulting her at FIFA's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in 2013.

Solo said the incident occurred just as she was about to give her teammate, Abby Wambach, a player of the year trophy at a Federation Internationale de Football Association awards ceremony in January 2013.

In an interview with Portuguese paper Expresso that will run Saturday, the 36-year-old Solo, a Richland native, said Blatter assaulted her just before both of them took the stage at the 2012 Ballon d'Or awards, according to The Guardian.

She had been "nervous" before the event, and was left "in shock" just seconds before they were to go on stage for what would be one of the biggest moments in her friend's life, Solo revealed.

Solo anchored the USA 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.




Blatter's spokesman shut down the allegations and denied that the incident took place. I didn't get to tell him directly, 'Don't ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things. After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad.

She said she's disappointed in her colleagues who have been victims but who have not spoken out about their own experiences.

The shocking claim was made after she was asked if sexual harassment was as much an issue in women's soccer as it has been in Hollywood. That needs to change. In January 2004, Blatter suggested women should where "tighter shorts" because "female players are pretty". I've seen it amongst players in the locker room.

"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.

Blatter was head of the world football's governing body for 17 years, until a corruption scandal in 2015.

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