American female football star Hope Solo has been banned from the national team, for calling Sweden “a bunch of cowards” after the US team’s quaterfinal loss at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. She’ll serve a six-month suspension for her rants.
Image shows Hope Solo walking in front of the Swedes as both teams clash in Canada 2015.
The three-time defending champions lost to Sweden in a cagey match that ended 4-3 at penalties, handing the US team an early exit from this year’s Olympic soccer finals for the first time.
Hope Solo’s contract also got terminated for her controversial choice of words after the loss when she said: ‘I think we played a bunch of cowards’ adding that the ‘best team did not win’.
The famous goalkeeper understands she made a wrong decision by calling her opponents “a bunch of cowards” in a televised interview. She’s however, saddened by the board’s decision to impose sanctions on her for the careless comments made in the heat of the moment.
Solo said, ‘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…’
U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati says the goalkeepers anger and thoughtless comments were not acceptable in sports.
In an official statement on Wednesday, Sunil said: ‘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.
‘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 honor those principles, with no exceptions.’
According to the statement released, the decision to slap Hope with a 6-month ban was reached as a maximum punishment, after prior unruly behaviors were considered.
“Solo was suspended for a period of 30 days back in 2015 for a build-up of conduct issues,” Daily Mail confirms.
It’s hoped that this sanction will serve as a deterrent to other sportsmen and women who may chose to let their anger take control of them in the nearest future..
Sports Illustrated released a statement from Hope, after her unexpected sanction from the national team. The goalkeeper said: ‘For 17 years, I dedicated my life to the U.S. 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. 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 with which I play the game,” the sad player said’
She continued: ‘I’ve won and lost a lot of games in my career — and not all wins have been pretty.
‘Sometimes it’s just finding a way to win that matters the most and tonight Sweden found a way to beat us.’
Rich Nichols, the Executive Director of the USWNT Player’s Association said the punishment is ‘excessive, unprecedented, disproportionate. and a violation of Ms. Solo’s First Amendment Rights’.
Solo was widely criticised by sports fans around the world, including her teammates who felt she did wrong by going public with her pains.
Megan Rapinoe was one of those US teamamtes who expressed concern for their goalkeeper’s anger.
A very disappointed Megan told NBC: ‘I’m really disappointed, to be honest.
‘That’s not our team, that’s not what this team has always been, that’s not what this team will be in the future.’
Rapinoe added: ‘I think this team has always done an amazing job of understanding that we have this incredible platform — let’s do something good with it, let’s inspire, let’s be bad-ass, let’s be fierce, let’s be competitive.
‘But we’re gracious and we’re humble and we play the game a certain way whether we win or lose,’ she added. ‘And we’ve been on the winning side quite a bit — and when we find ourselves on the other side, we need to handle ourselves graciously.
‘Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.’
After the incident, Solo posted on Twitter: ‘Losing sucks, I’m really bad at it.’
The US team was defeated 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the last eight stage of the women’s soccer tournament in Rio.