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US Suspend Women’s Goalkeeper For Calling Sweden Team Cowards

By Adebayo Williams

The United States Soccer President Sunil Gulati has said that women’s goalkeeper, Hope Solo, has been suspended for six months. The suspension is to serve as punishment for labelling her Swedish counterparts ‘a bunch of cowards’. Gulaiti said Solo’s comments are unacceptable and not of the standard of conduct the association expects of its players. Solo’s rant came after the US team was eliminated in the quarter final of the Rio 2016 Olympics by Sweden. She had said the Swedes were comfortable with defending and were waiting for penalty kicks.

The 35-year-old Solo, who was previously suspended for 30 days early in 2015 for her conduct, will not be eligible for selection to the national team until February. Solo said she was “saddened” by the decision in a statement on her Facebook page.

“I could not be the player I am without being the person I am, even when I haven’t made the best choices or said the right things,” she said.

“My entire career, I have only wanted the best for this team, for the players and the women’s game and I will continue to pursue these causes with the same unrelenting passion with which I play the game.”

Solo had also sparked controversy when she had snapped and uploaded a picture of herself covered in mosquito net and holding a can of insecticide at the Olympics. Fans booed her mercilessly and hollered “Zika!” each time she kicked downfield.

Sweden’s coach, Pia Sundhage, who led the US team to gold medals in Beijing and London, replied by stating: “It’s OK to be a coward if you win.”

Solo has been making headlines throughout her stellar career.

Last month, she became the first goalkeeper with 100 international shutouts when the United States defeated South Africa 1-0 at Soldier Field in Chicago. It also was her 150th career win.  Solo won her second straight Golden Glove Award for the best goalkeeper at the Women’s World Cup a year ago. Over the course of the tournament in Canada, she had five shutouts and allowed only three goals in seven games. She has vocally advocated for women’s rights. Solo was among the US players who filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for wage discrimination, saying the men’s national team players have been paid much more than many on the women’s team.

She has also been trying to avoid trial on misdemeanour domestic violence charges after a 2014 incident at her sister’s home, when the goalkeeper was accused of being intoxicated and assaulting her sister and 17-year-old nephew. Solo said she was a victim in the altercation. Earlier this year, an appeals court in Washington state rejected Solo’s request to avoid trial.

About Ademola Aderele

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