US Soccer has suspended long-serving United States women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo for six months due to “conduct that is counter to the organization’s principles”.
In a statement released on Wednesday, US Soccer said the suspension was handed down because of Solo’s controversial comments following a penalty shoot-out loss to Sweden in the quarter-finals of the women’s football tournament at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Solo – a 202-cap veteran – claimed Sweden played like “a bunch of cowards” with an extremely defensive style that kept USA off the board until the deciding spot-kicks.
The 35-year-old was also suspended for 30 days in 2015 for misconduct. Her latest ban is effective immediately.
“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.
“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.
“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 U.S. National Team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action.”
As a result of the suspension, Solo is not eligible for selection for USA until February of 2017.