USA soccer star Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter of sexual harassment

Hope Solo says former FIFA President Sepp Blatter grabbed her rear shortly before the two were to appear on stage at a prestigious soccer ceremony four years ago.

Speaking in an interview with Portuguese newspaper Expresso, former Seattle Reign keeper Solo claims that Blatter sexually harassed her before she went on stage to present an award at the glitzy ceremony four years ago.

She said that he grabbed her ass before she went on the stage to present an award.

Solo said in her comments to the Guardian that sexual harassment in sport needs to be dealt with: "While in this instance it was Sepp Blatter, who was the most powerful man in football at the time, sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour are rampant at every level in women's sport and it needs to stop".

After the entertainment industry and the media, accusations of harassment and sexual assault are gaining the world of sports.

"I wish more women, especially in football, would speak against it, about their experiences", she told the paper.

Solo, the most capped goalkeeper in U.S. football history with 202 appearances, including in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic- and 2015 World Cup-winning teams, spoke out last month about sexual harassment in sport, following the revelations about the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. I didn't get to tell him directly 'Don't ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things. "I had to submit to my co-fellow [Abby Wambach, victor of the Golden Ball 2013, editor's note] the biggest prize of his career, and celebrate with it this time, so I dedicated all my attention", she also added. "This allegation is ridiculous", he made know.

Solo expanded on those remarks to Expresso, when she appeared at the Web Summit event in Lisbon, to speak on a platform for equal pay and women's equality. I've seen it with trainers, doctors and our press officers. "After [the ceremony] I have not seen and have not been able to confront it", said the sport.

When asked why she had never brought it up previously, Solo admitted it is because she usually like to take it up with the person directly, rather than flush it out to the press.

Blatter also famously argued in 2004 that players could boost the popularity of the women's game by wearing tighter shorts. I've seen it amongst players in the locker room.

  • Stacy Allen