Hope Solo says ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter grabbed her inappropriately

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Getty Image

Solo, 36, said that Sepp Blatter, 81, then the president of global soccer organizers Federation Internationale de Football Association, 'grabbed her a**' just before they were to give one of the sport's most prized awards - the Ballon d'Or - to her own teammate.

Talking to Expresso, the US shot-stopper claimed that Blatter grabbed her from behind just moments before they were set to go on stage.

She had been "nervous" before the event, and was left "in shock" just seconds before they were to go on stage for what would be one of the biggest moments in her friend's life, Solo revealed. Blatter is already serving a ban from Federation Internationale de Football Association after he was ousted for a variety of crimes that rocked global soccer in recent years, but the serious accusation from Solo is an entirely new wrong for Blatter.

Blatter has denied the accusation, with his spokesman telling The Guardian: "This allegation is ridiculous".

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In her interview with The Guardian, Solo said "sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior are rampant" in sports.

After an October New York Times report about repeated sexual assault and harassment claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, women throughout the world shared their experiences using the hashtag #metoo on social media. She said she hasn't seen him since. "I did not get to tell him directly 'Do not ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things".

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. Silence will not change the world!

"It can happen across the board, it can happen between women, it can happen anywhere", she said. 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".

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