USA goalkeeper Solo accuses ex-Fifa president Blatter of sexual harassment

Sheri Evans
November 11, 2017

Hope Solo, the former longtime U.S. Women's National Team goalkeeper, says ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter touched her inappropriately just before the two went on stage at an awards ceremony in 2013.

Abby Wambach of the United States of America receives the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award from US teammate Hope Solo and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2012 at the Kongresshaus on January 7, 2013 in Zurich, Switzerland.

"Can-I-talk-about-that-" target="_blank">Tribuna Expresso, saying that Blatter, who resigned from Federation Internationale de Football Association in 2015 amid a bribery scandal, grabbed her 'right before I went on stage'. "It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage... it [sexual harassment] has been normalised".

Just before decorated American soccer player Hope Solo walked out to give an award, the former head of Federation Internationale de Football Association allegedly grabbed her bottom. Blatter accompanied her on stage.

Blatter has denied the accusation, with his spokesman telling The Guardian: "This allegation is ridiculous". She had to pull herself together quickly to give the award to Wambach.

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.

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Speaking in Lisbon for the Web Summit, Solo granted Expresso an interview about gender equality and sexual harassment.

"I speak out directly [with people] when things like that happen", she said. She said she hasn't seen him since.

After an October New York Times report about repeated sexual assault and harassment claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, women throughout the world shared their experiences using the hashtag #metoo on social media. "And I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences".

"Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball", Blatter said. I didn't get to tell him directly "don't ever touch me".

In 2004, Blatter was widely criticized for sexist comments about women's soccer. I've seen it among players in the locker room.

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

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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