Former U.S. international goalkeeper Hope Solo has accused ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter of sexual assault, according to quotes published by _Expresso_ and _The Guardian_.
In an interview with the Portuguese outlet published on Saturday, Solo claimed Blatter “grabbed my ass” at FIFA’s Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in January 2013, where Solo presented the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year award on stage alongside Blatter.
Solo told The Guardian that she had to compose herself to make a speech before she handed the award to her U.S. teammate Abby Wambach.
“I was in shock and completely thrown off,” Solo said, according to the British publication. “I had to quickly pull myself together 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.”
According to _The Guardian_, Blatter has denied the incident taking place, saying: “This allegation is ridiculous.”
Over the past month, celebrities have been speaking out about sexual harassment by people in power. Expresso interviewed Solo about the topic and she admitted that “I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass.”