Longtime U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo says former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her at a 2013 awards ceremony, according to The Guardian.
She had been “nervous” before the event, and was left “in shock” just seconds before they were to go on stage for what would be one of the biggest moments in her friend’s life, Solo revealed.
Speaking to Expresso while in Portugal, Solo said Blatter “grabbed my ass” at the Ballon d’Or award ceremony.
Solo said it came in January of 2013, right before the two went on stage to present an award. Blatter has denied the allegations.
Solo, who is the most capped goalkeeper in USA football history, recently shared her views regarding sexual harassment in sport with her 868,000 Instagram followers. She has made 202 appearances for the women’s national team since 2000.
In an Instagram post, 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 always felt I’d “handled it’ and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators. Silence will not change the world!”
“I’m actually very disappointed with the women who haven’t spoken about it in the sports world”, Solo said.
“I had some bad experiences with players who are still on the team”.
Blatter, 81, was banned by Federation Internationale de Football Association for six years in 2015 after his involvement in the Federation Internationale de Football Association corruption scandal.
In 2004, Blatter said the women’s game could attract more viewers if they wore “tighter shorts” like volleyball players.
Solo, who won the 2015 World Cup with the US, has been sidelined by an injury and has not played for the national team since a six-month suspension for criticizing opponents Sweden at the Olympics in 2016.