Former FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter became the latest high-profile men to be accused of sexual assault after former Washington Huskies and Seattle Reign FC goalie Hope Solo said he grabbed her at an award ceremony.
Solo added that she had seen sexual harassment in sports 'throughout my entire career'. The newspaper published an excerpt from that conversation on Friday. Solo, 36, said the assault happened just before she was presenting the Federation Internationale de Football Association women's world player of the year award for 2012 on stage alongside Blatter, to striker Amy Wambach, her team-mate in the American side that had won the gold medal at the London Olympics.
In an interview with Portuguese paper Expresso that will run Saturday, the 36-year-old Solo, a Richland native, said Blatter assaulted her just before both of them took the stage at the 2012 Ballon d'Or awards, according to The Guardian.
Talking to Expresso, the U.S. shot-stopper claimed that Blatter grabbed her from behind just moments before they were set to go on stage. I've seen it among players in the locker room. After that I didn't see him and that was kind of bad.
Blatter has denied the accusation, with his spokesman telling The Guardian: "This allegation is ridiculous". She said in the Guardian, "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".
Solo has taken to social media to praise those who have spoken out against sexual harassment using the hashtag #MeToo. I didn't get to tell him directly "don't ever touch me".
Blatter, 81, was Federation Internationale de Football Association president from 1998 until 2015, when he was banned in relation to a payment of two million Swiss francs (€1.7m) to former UEFA chief Michel Platini.
"For years, in the past, female players date and end up marrying their college coaches, which obviously a coach should not be doing, especially with a young player".
Blatter also famously argued in 2004 that players could boost the popularity of the women's game by wearing tighter shorts.
Chinese foreign ministry officials previously said that the Chinese government had reported the incident to U.S. officials. No further information about the UCLA players' status beyond Saturday's game in China was immediately released.
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Becky, who also manages a stable of prominent comedians like Amy Poehler and Kevin Hart, denied threatening any of the women. Comedian Rebecca Corry told the Times of an incident in 2005 when she was appearing in a television pilot alongside C.K.
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