Goalkeeper Hope Solo will not play for the United States for six months after being banned for calling Olympic rivals Sweden "a bunch of cowards".

The 35-year-old World Cup winner made the remarks after her side lost 5-4 on penalties to the Swedes in the quarter-finals of Rio 2016.

US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said Solo's comments were "unacceptable".

Solo, who will not be eligible for the national side until February, said she was "saddened" by the decision.

Writing on her Facebook page, the Seattle Reign star 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."

You need to install Flash Player to play this content. Solo changes her gloves in the shoot-out At present, Solo will only miss two games for the US, against Thailand and the Netherlands next month. However, US Soccer has yet to finalise the fixture list.

They played 14 games in the same six months of the 2015-16 season.

In January 2015, Solo, who has made more than 200 appearances for the US, was suspended for 30 days following an incident during a training camp.

Women's association football, more commonly known as women's footballor women's soccer, is the most prominent team sport played by women around the globe. It is played at the professional level in numerous countries throughout the world and 176 national teams participate internationally.

The history of women's football has seen major competitions being launched at both the national and international levels. Women's football has faced many struggles throughout its history. Although its first golden age occurred in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s, when one match achieved over 50,000 spectators.

 The Football Association initiated a ban in 1921 that disallowed women's football games from the grounds used by its member clubs. The ban stayed in effect until July 1971
Media reports claimed she was in the car when husband Jerramy Stevens was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Sweden went on to reach the final in Rio but lost 2-1 by Germany.

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