United States goalkeeper Solo accuses ex-Fifa president Blatter of sexual harassment

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Longtime U.S. women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo claims former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her in 2013 at a Federation Internationale de Football Association awards ceremony, according to The Guardian and other media outlets.

Solo, who was kicked off the national team previous year following several controversies, the last being her calling Sweden's players a "bunch of cowards", said, "I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass".

She told Expresso that 'After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad.

She said: "It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage".

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Hope Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and goalkeeper for the U.S. women's soccer team says she was groped by the sport's then-most powerful man in 2013.

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

Blatter, who was reached via his spokesman, denied the allegation in a statement.

In her interview with The Guardian, Solo said "sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior are rampant" in sports. "I had to quickly pull myself together to present my teammate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby". I didn't get to tell him directly "don't ever touch me".

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

Blatter was then one of soccer's most powerful figures; he has since been banned from Federation Internationale de Football Association amid a widespread corruption scandal. "And I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences".

In 2004 he came under pressure after a suggestion that female players could wear "tighter shorts" like "they do in volleyball" to make the game more appealing to a male audience, while in 2013 he called a female member of Fifa's executive committee "good, and good looking". 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.

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