Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter of sexual abuse

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Hope Solo

New York, November 11: Former US women's football team goalkeeper Hope Solo told a Portuguese newspaper that former FIFA president Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her at the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in 2013.

In an interview published in Expresso, Solo said Blatter grabbed her rear end shortly before the two appeared onstage at the annual soccer awards event.

A representative for Solo told AP that the report was accurate and said Solo had no further comment on the matter.

Blatter could not immediately be reached for comment, but the embattled former head of soccer's governing body told the Guardian: "This allegation is ridiculous."

Solo has been dogged by a number of off-the-field controversies.

Sepp Blatter

Notably, a domestic violence case stemming from a 2014 altercation at a family member's home in Washington state.

Solo anchored the US 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.

Solo has made 202 total appearances with the national team, with 153 wins and an international-record 102 shutouts.

Solo's tenure with the national team ended following last year's Olympics in Brazil, when the Americans were ousted by Sweden in the quarterfinals.

Afterwards, Solo called the Swedish team "cowards" for their defensive style of play.

She was suspended from the team shortly thereafter and has not returned.

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.

Blatter has also had a history of what many consider to be sexist behavior concerning the women's game.

US forward Alex Morgan has said that Blatter failed to recognize her at the annual award event in 2012, even though she was one of three nominees for the women's Player of the Year.

Blatter also argued in 2004 that players could boost the popularity of the women's game by wearing tighter shorts.

Read more about: hope solo sepp blatter fifa football
Story first published: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 11:46 [IST]
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