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

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In an interview with the Portuguese outlet published on Saturday, Solo claimed Blatter "grabbed my ass" at FIFA's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in January 2013, where Solo presented the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award on stage alongside Blatter. She says that the incident occurred at the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or ceremony, when she was part of the presentation of the Women's World Player of the Year award to her teammate, Abby Wambach.

"I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass", she said. "It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage".

Solo said she quickly composed herself and moments later stood on stage with Blatter to present the Federation Internationale de Football Association women's player of the year award to her teammate, Abby Wambach, after U.S. won the gold medal at the London Olympics. Blatter accompanied her on stage.

The 36-year-old expanded on the alleged incident when she told The Guardian: "I was in shock and completely thrown off".

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

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Solo added that she had seen sexual harassment in sports 'throughout my entire career'.

Solo has taken to social media to praise those who have spoken out against sexual harassment using the hashtag #MeToo. After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad.

Blatter was then one of soccer's most powerful figures; he has since been banned from Federation Internationale de Football Association amid a widespread corruption scandal.

'I always felt I'd "handled it" and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators.

"For years, in the past, female players date and end up marrying their college coaches, which obviously a coach should not be doing, especially with a young player", she said. 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. "And I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences".

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