Tragic Shooting Occurs on Eve of Women’s World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand

Tragic Shooting Occurs on Eve of Women's World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand

On the eve of the Women’s World Cup, tragedy struck in Auckland, New Zealand, as a “serious incident” unfolded in downtown Auckland, just two miles from Eden Park, the venue for the tournament’s opening match between co-hosts New Zealand and Norway. Two people and a gunman lost their lives in the shooting, while at least six others, including a police officer, were injured in the violent incident.

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the devastating news and stated that the opening match would go ahead as planned, after meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino. He emphasized that there was no broader national security threat, as the incident seemed to be the actions of a lone individual.

Despite the somber circumstances, the tournament commenced with a minute’s silence before the opening match, which New Zealand won 1-0 against Norway. The players and fans stood together in unity, paying tribute to the victims of the attack and the injured.

New Zealand Football expressed shock at the incident and confirmed the safety of all Football Ferns team members and staff. They refrained from further commenting while details were still emerging.

Following the match, New Zealand captain Ali Riley expressed her team’s desire to use their victory as an inspiration to those affected by the tragedy. She mentioned that they had played with the victims and first responders in their thoughts, aiming to bring something positive amidst the difficult situation.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino assured that New Zealand authorities were working closely with FIFA to ensure the safety and security of all participants and fans during the Women’s World Cup. He extended the organization’s deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims and wished for a swift recovery for the injured.

Norway captain Maren Mjelde shared that her team felt safe despite the unsettling situation, with FIFA maintaining a robust security system at the hotel where the teams were staying.

The incident was contained to a single building under construction in lower Queen Street, according to the New Zealand Police. They urged people to avoid the area or seek shelter inside nearby buildings during the incident.

As the Women’s World Cup continues, the global football community remains united in thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families, and all those affected by this tragic event. The tournament will carry on, showcasing the resilience and unity of the participating teams and fans.

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