Hope Solo says ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter groped her

Hope Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and goalkeeper for the US women's soccer team says she was groped by the sport's then-most powerful man in 2013.

Hope Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and goalkeeper for the US women's soccer team says she was groped by the sport's then-most powerful man in 2013.

Solo, 36, said that Sepp Blatter, 81, then the president of international soccer organizers Fifa,  'grabbed her a**' just before they were to give her teammate an award for player of the year.

She revealed that had been 'nervous' before the event, and was left 'in shock' just seconds before they were to go on stage for what would be one of the biggest moments in her friend's life.

Hope Solo (left) says that Sepp Blatter (right) grabbed her 'a**' just before they went on stage to award Solo's Team USA colleague with the prestigious Ballon d'Or in 2013

Hope Solo (left) says that Sepp Blatter (right) grabbed her 'a**' just before they went on stage to award Solo's Team USA colleague with the prestigious Ballon d'Or in 2013

Solo is a two-time gold winner at the Olympics, and said she was left 'in shock' by the Fifa president's alleged grope

Solo made the revelations in an interview with Portuguese paper Tribuna Expresso, saying that Blatter, who resigned from Fifa in 2015 amid a bribery scandal, grabbed her 'right before I went on stage.' 

She elaborated on the claim to The Guardian, saying: 'I was in shock and completely thrown off.

'I had to quickly pull myself together to present my team-mate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby.'

She told Expresso that '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 - seen presenting the female player of the year award to Abby Wambach - said she had to swallow her anger and press on so as not to spoil her friend's big moment

Solo - seen presenting the female player of the year award to Abby Wambach - said she had to swallow her anger and press on so as not to spoil her friend's big moment

Blatter is seen here talking to Solo in 2011, two years before the alleged groping. He previously suggested that female players should wear tighter shorts, like volleyball players

Blatter is seen here talking to Solo in 2011, two years before the alleged groping. He previously suggested that female players should wear tighter shorts, like volleyball players

Solo added that she had seen sexual harassment in sports 'throughout my entire career.'

'And I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences,' she said. 'It's rampant, it's not just in Hollywood, it's probably all over the place.'

On October 16, Solo joined in the #MeToo hashtag campaign, designed to highlight the breadth of sexual harassment occurring to women across society.

In an Instagram post, she said: 'For the past few days, I have been thinking about all the uncomfortable situations myself and/or my teammates have experienced throughout the years with trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even teammates.'

'From inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass to coaches and GMs and even press officers speaking about players "t*ts" and physical appearance, sexual harassment is rampant in the sports world,' she continued.

'I always felt I'd "handled it" and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators. That needs to change.

'Silence will not change the world!'