American soccer goalkeeper, two-time Olympic gold medallist and World Cup champion Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter, former president of Federation Internationale de Football Association, of sexual assault at a Ballon d'Or awards ceremony.
Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter, FIFA president announce Abby Wambach of United States as the victor of the FIFA womens player of the year trophy during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2013 at Congress House on January 07, 2013 in Zurich, Switzerland.
USA forward Alex Morgan has said that Blatter failed to recognize her at the annual awards event in 2012, even though she was one of three nominees for the women's Player of the Year.
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It is not the first time Blatter, who won five elections as Federation Internationale de Football Association president between 1998 and 2015 before being banned for ethic breaches, has faced criticism for his treatment of women. She said that she prefers to confront people directly, and that with Blatter the incident took place seconds before they went on stage, and she was unable to to confront him at that point and didn't have an opportunity later on. "It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage".
The American soccer goalkeeper, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and World Cup champion Solo presented the award for Federation Internationale de Football Association women's player of the year that year on stage alongside Blatter to her colleague Abby Wambach after the U.S. won gold at the Olympics in London in 2012.
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.
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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 a history of sexist behavior when it comes to women's soccer.
"After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad". She had to pull herself together quickly to give the award to Wambach. A representative for Blatter called the allegation "ridiculous". "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.
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"I'm actually very disappointed with the women who haven't spoken about it in the sports world", Solo told Expresso. "I don't know why more players don't speak out".