New Zealand shooting rattles teams hours before World Cup kickoff

World

Published: 2023-07-20 09:28

Last Updated: 2024-04-16 18:17


New Zealand shooting rattles teams hours before World Cup kickoff
New Zealand shooting rattles teams hours before World Cup kickoff

Women's World Cup squads in Auckland were shocked but safe after a deadly shooting near several team hotels overshadowed the opening day of the tournament Thursday.

The incident, which left two victims and the gunman dead, occurred close to the hotels of reigning champions the United States, as well as the Philippines and Norway -- who play co-hosts New Zealand later in the day in the city.

Norway captain Maren Mjelde said the team -- staying just 300-400 meters from a building site where the shooting took place -- were woken by a helicopter and "a large number of emergency vehicles".

"At first we didn't know what was going on, but eventually there were updates on TV and the local media," she said in a statement hours before the 0700 GMT kickoff.

"Everyone seems calm and we are preparing as normal for the game tonight," she added.

FIFA said in a statement that it had been "in constant contact with the participating teams affected by this incident".

"The participating teams in close proximity to this incident are being supported in relation to any impact that may have taken place," football's governing body added.

New Zealand's government has said there was no broader national security threat and the tournament will go ahead as planned.