The Women’s World Cup will ‘proceed as planned’ following a shooting in Auckland, just hours before the city stages the first game of the tournament.
Ahead of the opening match between hosts New Zealand and opponents Norway in Auckland, a gunman was reportedly found dead after killing two people and injuring multiple others in the city on Thursday (20 July). The shooting took place at a building site in Auckland city centre.
New Zealand’s prime minister Chris Hipkins said: “Clearly with the Fifa World Cup kicking off this evening, there are a lot of eyes on Auckland.
“The government has spoken to Fifa organizers this morning, and the tournament will proceed as planned. I want to reiterate that there is no wider national security threat. This appears to be the action of one individual.”
The Italy team’s training was delayed, with players unable to leave their hotel, while New Zealand Football issued a statement on social media, writing: “New Zealand Football are shocked by the incident in Auckland CBD this morning.
“We can confirm that all of the Football Ferns team and staff are safe but we will not be able to comment further while details are still emerging. Please refer to New Zealand Police for further information. Preparations for the game tonight at Eden Park will continue as planned.”
Meanwhile, reigning world champions USA issued the following statement: “Regarding the incident in downtown Auckland, all of our USWNT [US Women’s National Team] players and staff are accounted for and safe. Our security team is in communication with local authorities and we are proceeding with our daily schedule.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information.