US Goalkeeper Hope Solo Accuses Sepp Blatter of Sexual Assault
Goalkeeper of the United States national team, Hope Solo has accused former Fifa president Sepp Blatter of sexual harassment.
This comes amid damning sexual harassment claims against male celebrities across the world after the Harvey Weinstein scandal rocked Hollywood.
Solo, 36, says the incident happened at the 2013 Ballon d’Or gala in Switzerland, just before she went on stage to present an award.
The World Cup winner made the revelation in an interview with Portugal newspaper Expresso, saying: “I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass.”
When asked why she has not spoken out on the incident before, Hope Solo said: “I was nervous for the presentation. It was the Ballon d’Or I was presenting.
“After that I didn’t see him and that was kind of bad. I didn’t get to tell him directly “don’t ever touch me”. That’s the way I’ve always handled things. Directly,” the goalie concluded.
Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and winner of 202 caps, says the issue is rampant in women’s football.
“I’ve seen it throughout my entire career,” she said. “It’s not just in Hollywood.
“I’ve seen it not just with coaches, I’ve seen it with trainers, doctors, and our press officers. I’ve seen it among players in the locker room. I don’t know why more players don’t speak out against it.”
Blatter, 81, has denied the incident took place, with his spokesman describing the allegation as “ridiculous”.
This isn’t the first time a negative light has been on Blatter regarding female players. In January 2004, the Swiss suggested women should wear “tighter shorts” because “female players are pretty.”
Blatter was head of the world football’s governing body for 17 years, until a corruption scandal ended his reign in 2015.
After being investigated for bribery, corruption, racketeering and more, Sepp Blatter is currently serving a six-year ban from the sport over breach of ethics.
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