Former FIFA chief Blatter denies sexual assault accusation
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Former FIFA chief Blatter denies sexual assault accusation

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Blatter reiterates intention to attend 2018 World Cup amid ban

Former Fifa president, Sepp Blatter has denied allegations on sexual assaul by USA goalkeeper, Hope Solo.

The 36-year-old Solo had accused Blatter of sexually harassing her at the 2013 Ballon d’Or awards before she went on stage to present an award.

In an interview with Portugal newspaper Expresso, the World Cup winner said: “I had Sepp Blatter grab my ass.”

But Blatter denied the incident took place, with his spokesman telling BBC Sport: “This allegation is ridiculous.”

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Solo, when asked why she has not spoken out on the incident before, added: “I was nervous for the presentation. It was the Ballon d’Or I was presenting.

“After that I didn’t see him and that was kind of bad. I didn’t get to tell him directly ‘don’t ever touch me’. That’s the way I’ve always handled things – directly.”

Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, says the issue is “rampant” in women’s football, adding that it is not supposed to be so.

Blatter was head of the world football’s governing body for 17 years, until a corruption scandal in 2015, and he was subsequently banned from the sport for eight years, a term later reduced to six years after appeal.

 

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