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

Solo- seen here presenting the female player of the year award to Abby Wambach- said she had to swallow her anger and press on so as not to spoil her friend's big moment

Former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo says former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her at the 2013 Ballon d'Or awards.

Solo, who said she usually addresses harassment head on, said the circumstances prevented her from immediately confronting Blatter. 10, 2017, in the newspaper Expresso, Solo said Blatter "grabbed" her inappropriately on her rear end shortly before the two appeared onstage at the awards event. "I had to quickly pull myself together to present my teammate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby".

When she expanded on the alleged incident, Solo told the Guardian: "I was in shock and completely thrown off".

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Blatter's representative called the allegation "ridiculous" in a statement to Expresso and The Guardian. I always felt I'd "handled it' and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators".

The shocking claim was made after she was asked if sexual harassment was as much an issue in women's soccer as it has been in Hollywood. She said she's disappointed in her colleagues who have been victims but who have not spoken out about their own experiences.

Blatter has also had a history of what many consider to be sexist behavior concerning the women's game.

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Blatter, 81, served as Federation Internationale de Football Association president from 1998 until 2015, when he was banned by the organization over an ethics scandal that shook the sports world at the time.

"They could, for example, have tighter shorts", Blatter said. "That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?" The 36-year-old was suspended for six months by U.S. Soccer for calling Swedish players a "bunch of cowards" and has not returned to the team since.

Solo anchored the US team in goal during its 2015 Women's World Cup championship run, allowing just three goals in seven games with five shutouts during the tournament.

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