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US goalkeeper Solo slapped with six-month ban over 'bunch of cowards' comment

Goalie Hope Solo of USA reacts during the game. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION New York, NY, United States Aug 25, 2016, 05.28 AM (IST)
Hope Solo, the US women's football goalkeeper, was banned for six months from international football following her "bunch of cowards" comment at the Rio Olympics.

The comment was directed at the (defensive-minded) Swedish football team, who beat the United States 4-3 on penalty kicks after their quarter-final match ended 1-1.

"The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our national team players," US Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement.

"Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we've had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a US national team member, US Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action," it stated.

Solo, who was previously suspended for 30 days in 2015, will start her suspension immediately.

The 35-year-old also made news in January last year over a domestic violence case that was dismissed after she pleaded not guilty.

Solo has been a part of US Olympic gold medal-winning teams in 2008 and 2012.

"For 17 years, I dedicated my life to the US women's national team and did the job of a pro athlete the only way I knew how - with passion, tenacity, an unrelenting commitment to be the best goalkeeper in the world, not just for my country, but to elevate the sport for the next generation of female athletes. In those commitments, I have never wavered," she said.

"I think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today," Solo had said after the match against Sweden in Brasilia on August 12.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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