Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Hope Solo: Sepp Blatter 'grabbed my ass' at soccer awards

Hope Solo: Sepp Blatter 'grabbed my ass' at soccer awards

In an interview with the Portuguese outlet published on Saturday, Solo claimed Blatter "grabbed my ass" at FIFA's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in January 2013, where Solo presented the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award on stage alongside Blatter.

Talking to Expresso, the US shot-stopper claimed that Blatter grabbed her from behind just moments before they were set to go on stage.

Solo was in attendance that night to present the Federation Internationale de Football Association women's world player of the year award to USWNT striker Abby Wambach. "I was in shock and completely thrown off", Solo said.

Blatter, via his spokesman, on Friday night denied that such an incident had taken place. Last month, she talked about sexual harassment in sport, in the wake of allegations that surfaces about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

On October 16, Solo joined in the #MeToo hashtag campaign, created to highlight the breadth of sexual harassment occurring to women across society.

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She captioned the post:"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". "I did not get to tell him directly 'Do not ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things".

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

'Silence will not change the world!'

Blatter, 81, who was elected as Federation Internationale de Football Association president in 1998, was banned by the governing body for ethics breaches relating to a £1.35m payment made to the then UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011. I've seen it among players in the locker room. It can happen all across the board, it can happen between women, it can happen anywhere. "And I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences".

In 2004, Blatter was widely criticized for sexist comments about women's soccer.

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