U.S. soccer star Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter of sexual harassment

Joseph Blatter, former president of Federation Internationale de Football Association, has been accused by Hope Solo, former United States goalkeeper of sexual assault during the Ballon d'Or ceremony in 2013, according to Portuguese weekly Expresso and published, and expanded upon, by the Guardian. "Can-I-talk-about-that-" target="_blank">Expresso, and claimed that Blatter made a pass at her as she prepared to present an award at the 2013 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony.

In an interview with Portuguese paper Expresso that will run Saturday, the 36-year-old Solo, a Richland native, said Blatter assaulted her just before both of them took the stage at the 2012 Ballon d'Or awards, according to The Guardian.

It is not the first time Blatter, who won five elections as Federation Internationale de Football Association president between 1998 and 2015 before being banned for ethic breaches, has faced criticism for his treatment of women.

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She said it occurred just before she presented the women's player of the year award at the Ballon D'or in Switzerland.

Asked by Expresso whether, in light of recent revelations in the American entertainment industry, sexual harassment was an issue in women's football, Solo replied: "Of course it is. After [the ceremony] I have not seen and have not been able to confront it", said the sport. "I had to quickly pull myself together to present my team-mate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby".

Blatter has denied the accusation, with his spokesman telling The Guardian: "This allegation is ridiculous". "From inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass to coaches and [general managers] and even press officers speaking about players" "tits" and physical appearance, sexual harassment is rampant in the sports world. On his account Instagram, she wrote, with the hashtag #MoiAussi: "the past few days, I think back to all those uncomfortable situations that I and my co-équipières have lived for years with coaches, doctors, personal club..." I didn't get to tell him directly "don't ever touch me". "Silence will not change the world!" In 2004, he argued that the popularity of the women's game could be boosted if the players wore tighter shorts. "I don't know why more players don't speak out".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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