Hope Solo, the former goalie of the United States women's national soccer team, said the head of Federation Internationale de Football Association groped her in 2013 as they were about to present an award together.
"I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass", Solo said, describing the incident to Portuguese outlet Expresso. "It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage".
Solo and Blatter walked on stage together to present the women's world player of the year to her USA teammate Abby Wambach. She was presenting with the former head of the soccer organization, Sepp Blatter, who she said grabbed her. "I had to quickly pull myself together to present my teammate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby".
Blatter's spokesman shut down the allegations and denied that the incident took place.
'I always felt I'd "handled it" and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators.
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For her career, Solo has made 202 total appearances with the national team, with 153 wins and an international-record 102 shutouts. Silence will not change the world!
"It can happen across the board, it can happen between women, it can happen anywhere", she said. I've seen it among players in the locker room.
Blatter was then one of soccer's most powerful figures; he has since been banned from Federation Internationale de Football Association amid a widespread corruption scandal. "That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?" In 2004, he was criticized for saying women players should consider wearing more revealing uniforms, such as skimpier shorts, to bring more attention to the game.
Solo joined the USA women's national team in 2000 but has not played for the nation since the 2016 Olympics in Rio.