Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter of sexual assault at 2013 FIFA Gala

Former U.S. national team star Hope Solo accused former FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexually assaulting her at the 2013 FIFA Gala awards ceremonies in Zurich.

In an interview with the Portuguese newspaper Expresso published on Saturday, Solo, alleged she “had Sepp Blatter grab my ass” before they went on stage to present the women's Ballon d'Or to Solo's U.S. teammate, Abby Wambach.

Blatter through a spokesperson said the allegation was "ridiculous" and denied the incident.

Solo was speaking to Espresso in Lisbon, where she spoke at the international tech conference Web Summit on a panel about equal pay and women’s equality.

She told the Guardian she was in shock and completely thrown off by Blatter's actions.

“I had to quickly pull myself together," she said, "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.”

Solo said sexual harassment was rampant in women's sports and she wished more women spoke out. She said she never saw Blatter after the alleged incident in 2013 so she wasn't able to confront him.

Solo repeated to Espresso her statement she made in October, following the revelations about the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, speaking out via Instagram about sexual harassment in sports.

12 comments about "Hope Solo accuses Sepp Blatter of sexual assault at 2013 FIFA Gala".
  1. John Mcdermott, November 11, 2017 at 9:48 a.m.

    What a pair. He’s been thoroughly discredited and banned for corruption. She’s got a history of violence, alcohol-fueled bad behavior and general craziness and attention-seeking. She’s soccer’s Tonya Harding. He’s...well, he’s Bladder and his many inappropriate comments and gaffes about women are legendary. Sexual harrassment and sexual assault are real problems. This is hardly the best example when both parties have so little credibility.

  2. Nick Daverese, November 11, 2017 at 9:59 a.m.

    When I was young my friends and I went to see the clay Cole show live in Manhattan. My young cousin Rosie went with us. She was a hot girl as a young girl. The kinks were appearing the lead singer was ray Davies. He evidently liked her looks and grabbed her butt. I happened to see him do it. I punched him in the mouth. So now the show was about to start live. So they just threw us all out. I guess they did not want a riot before the start of the show.

    i just saw Rosie in August she is 70 years old now. I think Hope could have punched him out and it would have been done. What was he going to do have her arrested.

    also in the late 70s I would go to place like Phil Linz little club on first Ave In the east 60s near danger-fields. phil Linz old place had a lot of celebrities would go their. They sold a lot of coke there and a lot of ladies of the evening would be inside. If you remember an American football player who turner actor Ed Marinero would hang out there. I saw him with a hooker I asked him what are you doing with them. The guy was good looking. He said going with a hooker is less of a problem then finding a girl in a bar. I know what he means now in these times.

    i told my son who managed a place like groupon. A lot of women worked for Groupon. I just warned my son not to crap where you eat. I meant don’t look for women at his work place find women somewhere else.

    When my daughter decided to move to Germany after college I already had taught her how to fight like a man. I taught her don’t hesitate and just do it.  If you get arrested we get a lawyer for her. Better then being raped or killed. 

  3. Mark Calcat, November 11, 2017 at 10:28 a.m.

    John, you need to adjust your thinking...soon, or you will be on the other end of allegations such as Hope's. It is the sort of thinking that in days of old would blame the rape on the clothing of the raped. Hope's misbehaviors off the pitch have earned her a life sentence from US Soccer, not her ability to call out a possible predator. Had she accused Gulati, it would be easy to see it as only revenge. Bladder is a complete dirt bag and what Hope says he did is very believable. 

  4. Ed LaTour, November 11, 2017 at 12:48 p.m.

    John, surely you must recognize the problem that women and young girls have to deal with in all walks of life. Had Hope decked Blatter at the time he may have had her escorted off the premises. Who could possibly believe Hope Solo in a she said he said battle I mean, she’s Hope Solo, you know the crazy one! He is the mighty Sepp Blatter, he would never do anything like that. John, it’s thinking like that, that keeps many individuals from speaking out. I commend Hope for telling her story as she knows that many would just blow her off as, well “you know, it’s just Hope”. Can’t you see that your thinking is the exact problem that would keep most women quiet, especially a woman like the out spoken Hope Solo. I am of the opinion that   Hope should be commended for her courage when she had to know how many people would not believe her. No I’ve never met Hope, I’m just the father of a daughter and a grandfather of a young granddaughter. 

  5. stewart hayes replied, November 11, 2017 at 5:49 p.m.

    Well said.

  6. Christopher Tallmadge, November 11, 2017 at 1:43 p.m.

    I am skeptical as Solo is not exactly a reliable person.  I also think 'ol Sepp was quite capable of doing that.  Did she ever say anything to anyone since?  If not, it is tough to believe her.  Given the number of publicized racial and sexual harassment allegations that have turned out to be BS in recent times (particularly at colleges) I need more than an unsupported accusation.

  7. schultz rockne, November 11, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

    Let's be clear: most men do not recognize the issues with which women grapple--men do not often have to cope with the potential threat and results of objectification, harassment, and/or assault from women and/or men often contribute to the sexualizing/objectifying of women.

    Take, for example of the use of language: let's say there's a commentator named Dick Nevereasy. He might casually sexualize a young woman by calling her "hot." Now, Dick might think that this is acceptable--most likely its been reinforced throughout his life--that he may even refer to a family member in such a way. But as a general rule, demeaning women (in this example by a misguided attempt at "praise") by claiming them to be sexually acceptable is one of the commonplace means by which men perpetuate sexism and violence against women. Blatter, in the article's example, had no problem bridging what little space there is between 'casual' and 'violent.'

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, November 12, 2017 at 12:02 p.m.

    Give me a break. Education on the topic in business and government sectors began in the 1970s. Sexual harrassment and assault victims are not limited to one gender. Calling a woman provocatively dressed "hot" is not inappropriate, not unwanted attention, and not demeaning. Men are wired to react to visual stimuli. Surely you know this and are intentionally ignoring the fact. Like many complicated issues, what is acceptable depends on the circumstances. I am not saying that there are not sexual predators; I am saying that all men are not sexual predators.      

  9. Nick Daverese, November 11, 2017 at 4:14 p.m.

    I think maybe that incident with Blatter  happened before she fought with her family. They would have believed her then.

    i am amazoned when things like this happen in the armed forces. The girls carry guns and know how to use them.

  10. Fanfor soccer, November 13, 2017 at 11:43 a.m.

    Its a shame with Solo.  Credibility gap. But that is what happens when fiction gets in the way of truth as has happened to her in the past.

  11. frank schoon, November 13, 2017 at 12:53 p.m.

    I don't get it. Solo can slap her husband around  but can't do anything with Blatter....come on!!

  12. Fanfor soccer replied, November 13, 2017 at 2:35 p.m.

    Frank, whatever Solo says is going to be questioned because her credibility is shot.  If its true shame on Blatter.  If not it just another arrow of non-credible nonsense in her quiver. 

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