Blatter grabbed my bum, claims US star

Herald on Sunday - - SPORT -

Hope Solo told a Por­tuguese news­pa­per that for­mer Fifa Pres­i­dent Sepp Blatter sex­u­ally as­saulted her at the Bal­lon d’Or awards cer­e­mony in 2013.

In an in­ter­view pub­lished yes­ter­day in Ex­presso, Solo said Blatter grabbed her rear end shortly be­fore the two ap­peared on­stage at the an­nual awards event.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Solo con­firmed to the As­so­ci­ated Press that the report was ac­cu­rate and said the for­mer goal­keeper for the US women’s na­tional team had no fur­ther com­ment on the mat­ter.

Blatter could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment by the AP, but the em­bat­tled for­mer head of foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body told the Guardian news­pa­per: “This allegation is ridicu­lous.”

Solo an­chored the US team in goal dur­ing their 2015 Women’s World Cup cham­pi­onship run, al­low­ing just three goals in seven games with five shutouts dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

For her ca­reer, Solo has made 202 to­tal ap­pear­ances with the na­tional team, with 153 wins and an in­ter­na­tional-record 102 shutouts. Solo’s ten­ure with the na­tional team ended af­ter last year’s Olympics in Brazil, when the Amer­i­cans were ousted by Swe­den in the quar­ter­fi­nals. Solo called the Swedish team “cow­ards” for their de­fen­sive style of play. She was sus­pended from the team shortly there­after and has not re­turned. Blatter was sus­pended from of­fice and banned from foot­ball for six years af­ter al­le­ga­tions of a wide­spread cor­rup­tion scan­dal that came to light in 2015. Both US and Swiss of­fi­cials co­op­er­ated in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which is on­go­ing, and more than 40 peo­ple have been indicted. Blatter has also had a his­tory of what many con­sider to be sex­ist be­hav­iour con­cern­ing the women’s game. He fa­mously ar­gued in 2004 that play­ers could boost the pop­u­lar­ity of the women’s game by wear­ing tighter shorts.

Hope Solo helped the US win the World Cup.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.