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U.S. goalkeeper Solo accuses ex-Fifa president Blatter of sexual harassment

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Solo accuses Blatter of sexual assault at Ballon d'Or awards

US soccer star Hope Solo has accused former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulting her.

"Sepp Blatter grabbed my ass, it was a few years ago at the Ballon d'Or ceremony just before I got on stage", Solo told Portuguese newspaper Expresso.

United States goalkeeper Hope Solo accused Sepp Blatter of sexual harassment on Friday, yet another alleged sexual misconduct by a man in a position of power that's been made public in recent weeks.

Just before decorated American soccer player Hope Solo walked out to give an award, the former head of Federation Internationale de Football Association allegedly grabbed her bottom.

Solo said Blatter grabbed her buttocks right before the pair walked on stage to present an award to one of Solo's teammates.

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The Guardian contacted the player to expand on what had happened and she told them: "I was in shock and completely thrown off".

Blatter, 81, denied the incident took place, with his spokesman telling BBC Sport: "This allegation is ridiculous". "I had to quickly pull myself together to present my teammate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby".

"I've seen it throughout my entire career and I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences".

"I'm actually very disappointed with the women who haven't spoken about it in the sports world", Solo said.

On October 16, Solo joined in the #MeToo hashtag campaign, created to highlight the breadth of sexual harassment occurring to women across society.

"Solo offered her support for the "#MeToo" campaign in an Instagram post last month, saying she and other players have had to deal with "inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass" from "trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even teammates". I've seen it among players in the locker room. I always felt I'd "handled it' and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators. I don't know why more players don't speak out".

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