The former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been accused by Hope Solo, the U.S. women's football team goalkeeper, of having sexually assaulted her at Fifa's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in January 2013.
Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been accused of sexually assaulting Hope Solo, the U.S. women's football team goalkeeper, at the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in January 2013.
She revealed: "I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass [turns towards her press assistant, Melinda Travis]".
He has won five elections as president of Federation Internationale de Football Association from 1998 until 2015, was forced to step down and banned by Federation Internationale de Football Association amid a corruption scandal. "It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage".
Solo and Blatter presented the Federation Internationale de Football Association women's player of the year award to Solo's US national team teammate Abby Wambach at the ceremony on January 07, 2013, in Zurich.
Blatter is the latest name to be linked with the growing sexual harassment saga that has seen hundreds of women come forward, from across all walks of life, to accuse men in positions of power of a variety of sexual harassment and assault claims.
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Expanding on the alleged incident on Friday, Solo told the Guardianthat she had to compose herself immediately afterwards to concentrate on making her speech and giving the presentation to Wambach.
Blatter has had a history of what many consider to be sexist behavior concerning the women's game. I didn't get to tell him directly 'Don't ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things. She had to pull herself together quickly to give the award to Wambach.
Blatter dismissed Solo's claims, telling the Guardian newspaper that the allegation "is ridiculous". "Silence will not change the world!" On his account Instagram, she wrote, with the hashtag #MoiAussi: "the past few days, I think back to all those uncomfortable situations that I and my co-équipières have lived for years with coaches, doctors, personal club..." She said she hasn't seen him since.
Solo is the United States' record appearance-maker with 202 caps but was handed a six-month suspension by her national federation after branding Sweden's players "a bunch of cowards" in the aftermath of her team's 2016 Olympic quarter-final defeat on penalties.
"Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball", Blatter said.