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
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
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
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.