'Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted me,' says former USA goalkeeper Hope Solo

Solo- seen here presenting the female player of the year award to Abby Wambach- said she had to swallow her anger and press on so as not to spoil her friend's big moment

Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter of sexual assault at awards ceremony

Longtime U.S. women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo claims former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter sexually assaulted her in 2013 at a Federation Internationale de Football Association awards ceremony, according to The Guardian and other media outlets. "Can-I-talk-about-that-" target="_blank">Portuguese newspaper Expresso that Blatter groped her during FIFA's Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in 2013.

Solo anchored the US team in goal during its 2015 Women's World Cup championship run, allowing just three goals in seven games with five shutouts during the tournament.

Solo said she's had issues of harassment with teammates in the past, but didn't indicate any further details.

When discussing the incident recently with the Guardian, she added: "I was in shock and completely thrown off".

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Blatter has denied the allegations. She had to pull herself together quickly to give the award to Wambach. "I did not get to tell him directly 'Do not ever touch me!' That's the way I've always handled things".

"I had some bad experiences with players who are still on the team".

Solo, who with 202 appearances, is the most capped goalkeeper in USA soccer history, is an advocate for equality, including equal pay for women in sports.

When asked why she had never brought it up previously, Solo admitted it is because she usually like to take it up with the person directly, rather than flush it out to the press.

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In an Instagram post, she said: 'For the past few days, I have been thinking about all the uncomfortable situations myself and/or my teammates have experienced throughout the years with trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even teammates'.

Blatter was suspended from office and banned from soccer for six years following allegations of a widespread corruption scandal that came to light in 2015.

In 2004, Blatter was widely criticized for sexist comments about women's soccer.

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"They could, for example, have tighter shorts", Blatter said. "That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?"

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