Former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo says former FIFA president Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her at the 2013 Ballon d'Or awards. Blatter has denied the allegations.
"I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass. It was at the Ballon d’Or, right before I went on stage. [Sexual harassment] has been normalised. ...
"I was in shock and completely thrown off. I had to quickly pull myself together to present my team-mate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby (Wambach)."
Via a spokesperson, Blatter said: "This allegation is ridiculous."
Solo also took to Instagram to express her support for the ongoing #MeToo campaign, which aims to raise awareness of sexual assault and harassment. In the post, she gave numerous examples of things that have happened to her, including one that appears to refer to her recent comments:
The veteran stopper ranks among the greatest players in USWNT history, winning two Olympic gold medals and the 2015 World Cup. She hasn't featured for the team since 2016, however, following a suspension and the termination of her contract as a result of controversial comments, per Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated.
Per Conn and Marques, five-time FIFA president Blatter has made multiple sexist remarks over the course of his career. The 81-year-old resigned in 2015 and was subsequently banned for ethics breaches.