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Hope Solo accuses ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexual assault

ANI | Updated: Nov 11, 2017 15:12 IST

London [U.K.], Nov 11 (ANI): American goalkeeper Hope Solo has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by former FIFA president Sepp Blatter at the Ballon d'or awards ceremony in January 2013.

Solo, in an interview with a Portuguese newspaper said that Sepp Blatter grabbed her ass.

"I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass," she said.

"It was at the Ballon d'Or, right before I went on stage. [Sexual harassment] has been normalised," the Guardian quoted Solo, as saying.

Solo, 36, presented on the stage to present FIFA women's world player of the year alongside Blatter, to her colleague and striker Abby Wambach on the USA team that had won the gold medal at the London Olympics.

"I was in shock and completely thrown off," Solo said talking about the incident.

She added, "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."

Blatter, however, rejected all such claims against him, and called the allegation "ridiculous".

Blatter, 81, has earlier also faced ire over his sexist remarks.

He has won five elections as president of FIFA from 1998 until 2015, was forced to step down and banned by FIFA amid a corruption scandal. (ANI)