The Women’s World Cup will “proceed as planned” following a shooting in Auckland, just hours before the city is set to host the first game of the tournament.
Ahead of the opening match between host New Zealand and opponent Norway in Auckland, a gunman was reportedly found dead after killing two people and injuring numerous others in the city on Thursday (July 20). The shooting took place at a construction site in the Auckland city centre.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said: “Clearly, with the FIFA World Cup kicking off tonight, there are a lot of eyes on Auckland. The government spoke with FIFA organizers this morning and the tournament will go ahead as planned.
“Aucklanders and those watching around the world can rest assured that the police have neutralized the threat and are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. The safety of New Zealanders and the safety of our visitors is our first priority.
“Obviously there will be an increased police presence in Auckland to provide reassurance to the public, but police have indicated that they do not believe there is a continuing security risk.”
Training for the Italy team was delayed with players unable to leave their hotel, while New Zealand Football issued a statement on social media, writing: “New Zealand Football is shocked by the incident in Auckland CBD this morning.
“We can confirm that all Football Ferns team and staff are safe, but we will not be able to comment further while details still emerge. Check with the New Zealand Police for more information. Preparations for tonight’s game at Eden Park will continue as planned.”
Meanwhile, reigning world champions USA released the following statement: “Regarding the incident in downtown Auckland, all of our USWNT members [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 breaking news and will be updated with new information..