U.S. goalkeeper Solo accuses ex-Fifa president Blatter of sexual harassment

11 November, 2017, 01:27 | Author: Edward Fernandez
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USA women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo says then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her in 2013.

In an interview with Portugal newspaper Expresso, Solo - who has 202 caps - said: "I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass".

Expanding on the alleged incident on Friday, Solo told the Guardian that she had to compose herself immediately afterwards to concentrate on making her speech and giving the presentation to Wambach. She said it occurred just before she presented the women's player of the year award at the Ballon D'or in Switzerland.

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. She was accompanied on stage by Blatter.

When discussing the incident recently with the Guardian, she added: "I was in shock and completely thrown off".

Blatter said thruugh a representaive that the allegations made by Solo were, "ridiculous".

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'I always felt I'd "handled it" and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators.

"I'm actually very disappointed with the women who haven't spoken about it in the sports world", Solo said. After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad.

Solo, 36, said incidents of sexual harassment are "rampant" at all levels of women's soccer. That needs to change.

"For years, in the past, female players date and end up marrying their college coaches, which obviously a coach should not be doing, especially with a young player".

Blatter was suspended from office and banned from soccer for six years following allegations of a widespread corruption scandal that came to light in 2015. In 2004, he landed in hot water after saying women's soccer should use sex appeal as a way to grow the game. I've seen it amongst players in the locker room. "And I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences".

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

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