US star Hope Solo handed six-month suspension after calling Sweden cowards

US star Hope Solo handed six-month suspension after calling Sweden cowards

United States goalkeeper Hope Solo has been handed a six-month ban by her national federation after labelling Sweden "a bunch of cowards" following her side's Olympic quarter-final defeat.

The 35-year-old hit out after Sweden, eventual runners-up in Rio, defeated the USA 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the last-eight encounter on August 12.

"I thought we played a courageous game. I thought we had many opportunities on goal," said Solo, who has made 202 appearances for the USA.

"I think we showed a lot of heart. We came back from a goal down, I'm very proud of this team. And I also think we played a bunch of cowards.

"The best team did not win today, I strongly, firmly believe that."

A statement from the federation on Wednesday evening read: "US Soccer has suspended goalkeeper Hope Solo from the US women's national team for six months for conduct that is counter to the organisation's principles."

As a result of the suspension, Solo would not be eligible for national selection until February 2017, but the player later confirmed on her Facebook page that her national-team contract had been terminated.

"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," she said.

"In those commitments, I have never wavered. And with so much more to give, I am saddened by the federation's decision to terminate my contract.

"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. 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 which which I play the game."

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said the remarks by Solo, who was previously handed a 30-day suspension by the national federation in January 2015 for a "poor decision" during a training camp, were "unacceptable".

"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," he said.

"Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honour those principles, with no exceptions."

More on this topic

Rio Olympic head Carlos Nuzman charged with corruptionRio Olympic head Carlos Nuzman charged with corruption

President of Rio2016 games, Carlos Nuzman, could be suspended after arrest, say IOC President of Rio2016 games, Carlos Nuzman, could be suspended after arrest, say IOC

Pat Hickey could be back in Ireland soonPat Hickey could be back in Ireland soon

Olympic tickets inquiry calls on affected Irish fans to come forwardOlympic tickets inquiry calls on affected Irish fans to come forward


More in this Section

Kilruane knock out Tipp champions Clonoulty, but at a costKilruane knock out Tipp champions Clonoulty, but at a cost

Kosgei breaks world marathon record; Ireland's McCormack qualifies for Tokyo 2020Kosgei breaks world marathon record; Ireland's McCormack qualifies for Tokyo 2020

Nemo Rangers breeze past tame Douglas in Cork SFCNemo Rangers breeze past tame Douglas in Cork SFC

Mahon guides Sixmilebridge to fourth Clare SHC title this decadeMahon guides Sixmilebridge to fourth Clare SHC title this decade


Lifestyle

Gerry Fitzgerald runs Bandon Books Plus in Riverview Shopping Centre, Bandon, Co Cork.We Sell Books: Turning over a new leaf from bank to bookshop in Bandon

As UK legend John Surman gets ready to play at Cork’s jazz fest, he tells Philip Watson about his well-travelled career and why he’s so angry about Brexit.Jazz legend John Surman on a well-travelled career and why he's angry about Brexit

Dr Naomi Lavelle answers a weekly science question.Fish live in water all their lives but does that mean that they never get thirsty or do they even drink at all? To answer these questions we need to look at where the fish live.Appliance of Science: Do fish ever get thirsty?

More From The Irish Examiner