Alex Morgan: ‘Blatter didn’t know who I was’ at Ballon d’Or gala

The United States women's national team star claims Sepp Blatter didn't recognize her when she attended the Ballon d'Or gala in January 2013.

Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

Sepp Blatter may have recently declared himself the "godfather" of women’s soccer, but U.S. star Alex Morgan is now the latest player to accuse the FIFA president of sexist behavior.

In an interview with Time,  Morgan says Blatter and his fellow FIFA executives didn’t recognize her when she attended the Ballon d’Or gala in January 2013 as one of three finalists for FIFA Women’s Player of the Year.

"I have experienced sexism multiple times, and I’m sure I will a lot more," she said. "I feel like I’m fighting for female athletes. At the FIFA World Player of the Year event, FIFA executives and FIFA president Sepp Blatter didn’t know who I was. And I was being honored as top three in the world. That was pretty shocking."

U.S. teammate Abby Wambach has shared a similar anecdote about Blatter, who she says mistook Wambach’s now-wife Sarah Huffman for Brazilian star Marta — a five-time World Player of the Year — at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in 2013.

Blatter drew widespread criticism in 2004 for suggesting that female players wear "tighter shorts" to increase the sport’s popularity.

A group of top women’s players also accused Blatter-led FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association of gender discrimination for deciding to host the upcoming Women’s World Cup on artificial turf, filing a lawsuit last year before dropping the complaint in January.

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