Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

World Cup victor Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter of sexual assault

Solo accuses Blatter of sexual assault at Ballon d'Or awards Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter of sexual assault at awards ceremony
Elias Hubbard | 11 November, 2017, 01:39

FORMER Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been accused of sexual assault by former US goalkeeper Hope Solo.

In an interview with Portugal newspaper Expresso, Solo - who has 202 caps - said: "I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass". "Can-I-talk-about-that-" target="_blank">Expresso, Solo said, "I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass". "It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage... it [sexual harassment] has been normalised".

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 gave more details in the Guardian Friday about how Blatter grabbed her just before the two walked on stage.

When she expanded on the alleged incident, Solo told the Guardian: "I was in shock and completely thrown off".

Blatter, contacted via his spokesman, denied the claim, according to Expresso and The Guardian.

Blatter said thruugh a representaive that the allegations made by Solo were, "ridiculous". In other cases, for instance, I've told my teammates: "Don't ever f***ing touch me!" It was the Ballon d'Or I was presenting.

"I had some bad experiences with players who are still on the team". She had to pull herself together quickly to give the award to Wambach.

When asked why she had never brought it up previously, Solo admitted it is because she usually like to take it up with the person directly, rather than flush it out to the press. She says she has seen such inappropriate sexual conduct throughout her career and notes it is not limited to Hollywood or the entertainment industry.

"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, 81, was FIFA's president from 1998-2015, but is now serving a six-year ban from any Federation Internationale de Football Association activities after investigations into the corruption of his regime.

Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, says the issue is "rampant" in women's football.

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