Sports

USA star Solo accuses Blatter of sexual assault

USA star Solo accuses Blatter of sexual assault

Blatter, the ousted head of the global soccer governing body, is the latest prominent man to be accused of sexual misconduct after USA women's soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo accused him of assaulting her at FIFA's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in 2013. "Can-I-talk-about-that-" target="_blank">Portuguese newspaper Expresso that Blatter groped her during FIFA's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in 2013.

Solo, who said she usually addresses harassment head on, said the circumstances prevented her from immediately confronting Blatter.

The World Cup victor, 36, says the incident happened at the 2013 Ballon d'Or awards, before she went on stage to present an award.

The 36-year-old Solo, her country's standout goalkeeper, claimed the 81-year-old Blatter pounced as she was about to present an award to her teammate Abby Wambach. Blatter accompanied her on stage. She had to pull herself together quickly to give the award to Wambach.

When discussing the incident recently with the Guardian, she added: "I was in shock and completely thrown off".

A Blatter spokesperson denied the incident took place, telling The Guardian, "This allegation is ridiculous". After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad.

"I'm actually very disappointed with the women who haven't spoken about it in the sports world ..." That's the way I've always handled things.

However, Solo claimed it was an example of how sexual harassment had become commonplace in sport.

The 81-year-old Blatter was banned by Federation Internationale de Football Association in 2015 for ethics breaches. I've seen it amongst players in the locker room.

Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, says the issue is "rampant" in women's football. He suggested in 2004 that female players could wear "tighter shorts" like "they do in volleyball." and in 2013, he called a female candidate for FIFA's executive committee "good, and good looking".

Solo also spoke out about the matter via her Instagram account recently (some words have been edited by LBS).