Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been accused of sexually assaulting Hope Solo, the United States of America women's football team goalkeeper, at the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in January 2013. "It's been normalized", said Solo, who presented the FIFA's women's player of the year award in January 2013 and shared the stage with Blatter.
Talking to Expresso, the U.S. shot-stopper claimed that Blatter grabbed her from behind just moments before they were set to go on stage. "It was at the Ballon D'or one year right before I went on stage".
Blatter's spokesman shut down the allegations and denied that the incident took place.
Solo added that she had seen sexual harassment in sports 'throughout my entire career'. "From inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass to coaches and [general managers] and even press officers speaking about players" "tits" and physical appearance, sexual harassment is rampant in the sports world. "I did not get to tell him directly 'Do not ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things".
Solo, who won the 2015 World Cup with the US, has been sidelined by an injury and has not played for the national team since a six-month suspension for criticizing opponents Sweden at the Olympics in 2016. Silence will not change the world! In 2004, he was criticized for saying women players should consider wearing more revealing uniforms, such as skimpier shorts, to bring more attention to the game. "It can happen all across the board, it can happen between women, it can happen anywhere", she said. "That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?"
Blatter, 81, served as Federation Internationale de Football Association president from 1998 until 2015, when he was banned by the organization over an ethics scandal that shook the sports world at the time.