'Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted me,' says former U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo

'Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted me,' says former U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo

In the interview, Solo said she "had Sepp Blatter grab my ass" before she went on stage to present the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year award to teammate Abby Wambach.

Solo, 36, told the Portuguese newspaper Tribuna Expresso that she "had Sepp Blatter grab my a-" while the pair was backstage at the awards event. "It was at the Ballon D'or one year right before I went on stage".

Solo anchored the USA 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.

Hope Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and goalkeeper for the United States women's soccer team says she was groped by the sport's then-most powerful man in 2013.

Blatter's spokesman shut down the allegations and denied that the incident took place. She had to pull herself together quickly to give the award to Wambach.

The 81-year-old resigned in 2015 and was subsequently banned for ethics breaches.

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Solo also took to Instagram to express her support for the ongoing #MeToo campaign, which aims to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment.

"I've seen it throughout my entire career and I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences". Last month, she talked about sexual harassment in sport, in the wake of allegations that surfaces about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

"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". I didn't get to tell him directly "don't ever touch me". Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men - such as playing with a lighter ball.

"I speak out directly [with people] when things like that happen", she said. In 2004, he flared tempers when he suggested women female soccer players should wear "more feminine clothes", including "tighter shorts".

Solo joined the US women's national team in 2000 but has not played for the nation since the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

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