Hope Solo accuses ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexual assault

Solo accuses Blatter of sexual assault at Ballon d'Or awards

Disgraced ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been accused of sexual assault by veteran United States women's goalkeeper Hope Solo.

Speaking in an interview with Portuguese newspaper Expresso, former Seattle Reign keeper Solo claims that Blatter sexually harassed her before she went on stage to present an award at the glitzy ceremony four years ago. She was presenting with the former head of the soccer organization, Sepp Blatter, who she said grabbed her. In the case of Sepp Blatter, I got on the stage, I was nervous, I presented the Ballon d'or.

Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter has denied Hope Solo's accusations. "I was in shock and completely thrown off".

Blatter has responded to the allegation as "ridiculous".

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Solo expanded on those remarks to Expresso, when she appeared at the Web Summit event in Lisbon, to speak on a platform for equal pay and women's equality.

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter talks with Hope Solo of United States of America after the FIFA Women's World Cup Final match between Japan and US at the FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

"It's out of control, not just in Hollywood but everywhere", Solo said, referencing the wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations against high-profile men in entertainment and politics, which was triggered by a scandal involving movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. "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", she said.

For the past few days, I have been thinking about all the uncomfortable situations myself and/or my teammates have experienced throughout the years with trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even teammates. "I've seen it not just with coaches. I don't know why more players don't speak out".

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"I'm actually very disappointed with the women who haven't spoken about it in the sports world ..."

"I've seen it throughout my entire career and I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences". She said she hasn't seen him since.

The 81-year-old Blatter served as Federation Internationale de Football Association president for almost 17 years before being kicked out of office and suspended amid accusations of widespread corruption.

When asked why she had never brought it up previously, Solo admitted it is because she usually like to take it up with the person directly, rather than flush it out to the press.

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