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Sepp Blatter accused of sexual assault by former US women’s team goalkeeper Hope Solo

FORMER Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been accused of sexual assault by former USA goalkeeper Hope Solo.

The 36-year-old claimed that it took place at the Balloon d’Or awards ceremony in January 2013.

 Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter on stage together at the Ballon d'Or awards in 2013Getty Images – Getty Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter on stage together at the Ballon d’Or awards in 2013

During an interview with Portuguese outlet Expresso, she claimed that she “had Sepp Blatter grab my ass.”

She presented the Fifa women’s world player of the year award alongside the 81-year-old at the glitzy ceremony.

Blatter’s spokesman shut down the allegations and denied that the incident took place.

He said: “This allegation is ridiculous.”

 The Olympic gold medallist presented an award with Sepp BlatterAP The Olympic gold medallist presented an award with Sepp Blatter

Talking to Expresso, the USA shot-stopper claimed that Blatter grabbed her from behind just moments before they were set to go on stage.

She said: “It was at the Ballon d’Or, right before I went on stage. [sexual harassment] has been normalised.”

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

“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.

 The former Fifa president has denied the claimsAFP or licensors The former Fifa president has denied the claims

Solo, who is the most capped goalkeeper in US football history, recently shared her views regarding sexual harassment in sport with her 868,000 Instagram followers.

She captioned the post:”For the past few days, I have been thinking about all the uncomfortable situations myself and/or my team-mates have experienced throughout the years with trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even team-mates.

“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.

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

“That needs to change. Silence will not change the world!”

 The former Fifa president talks with Hope Solo after the Women's World Cup finalGetty – Contributor The former Fifa president talks with Hope Solo after the Women’s World Cup final

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. From inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass to coaches and GMs and even press officers speaking about players “tits” and physical appearance, sexual harassment is rampant in the sports world. I always felt I’d “handled it” and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators. That needs to change. Silence will not change the world! #MeToo

A post shared by Hope Solo (@hopesolo) on Oct 16, 2017 at 3:42pm PDT

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