Star US goalkeeper Hope Solo suspended for 6 months over explosive comments following loss to Sweden in the Olympics

The US Women’s National Team came down hard on Hope Solo for her comments after losing to Sweden at the Rio Olympics.

The USWNT announced on Wednesday that Solo would be suspended for six months for “conduct that is counter to the organisation’s principles.”

The suspension is effective immediately.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in the statement:

“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 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.”

The US women’s team lost to Sweden in the quarterfinals in penalty kicks. Afterward, Solo ripped the Swedish team, saying they played like “cowards,” utilising a conservative style over the second half of the game.

“I’m very proud of this team,” Solo said after the loss. “But I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today. I strongly believe that.”

She continued, adding a barb toward former US soccer coach Pia Sundhage, “Sweden dropped off. They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to play great soccer… We had that style of play when Pia [Sundhage] was our coach. I don’t think they’re going make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly.”

Solo will not be “eligible for selection” of the US Women’s National Team until February 2017, according to the statement.

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