USA goalkeeper Hope Solo has accused former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter of sexual harassment. She says that the incident occurred at the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony, when she was part of the presentation of the Women's World Player of the Year award to her teammate, Abby Wambach.
That year, Solo was onstage to present FIFA's women's world player of the year to her teammate, the striker Abby Wambach. Solo told a Portuguese newspaper that former FIFA President Blatter sexually assaulted her at the ceremony.
Solo also said in her interview with Expresso that she is not surprised by the multitude of sexual assault allegations that women have been stepping forward with recently. She said she's disappointed in her colleagues who have been victims but who have not spoken out about their own experiences. "It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage", Solo said. That's the way I've always handled things.
Blatter, 81, denied the incident took place, with his spokesman telling BBC Sport: "This allegation is ridiculous". After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad.
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. I didn't get to tell him directly "don't ever touch me". She said she's seen inappropriate behavior from coaches, doctors, press officers - and between players. I've seen it amongst players in the locker room.
"For years, in the past, female players date and end up marrying their college coaches, which obviously a coach should not be doing, especially with a young player", she said. In 2004, he flared tempers when he suggested women female soccer players should wear "more feminine clothes", including "tighter shorts". Afterward, Solo called the Swedish team "cowards" for their defensive style of play.