Security was heightened ahead of Thursday night’s opening Women’s World Cup game after a gunman killed two people at a downtown construction site in Auckland, roughly 12 hours ahead of co-host New Zealand’s match against Norway.
Increased Security Measures
Norway’s team hotel was located within a short distance of the shooting, which occurred in the tourist area of the city near the harbor ferry terminal. Officials from Eden Park, where the game was scheduled to be played, encouraged ticket holders to arrive early as most of the surrounding roads were closed to vehicles.
One Individual Involved
The shooting happened early Thursday morning at the start of rush hour in New Zealand’s largest city. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed that it was an isolated incident carried out by one individual and not a wider national security threat.
No Impact on Football Operations
FIFA, the governing body of soccer, released a statement confirming that the shooting was not related to the Women’s World Cup and that the tournament would proceed as planned. Both FIFA’s president and secretary-general were in close contact with local authorities and participating teams.
Show of Solidarity
Football organizations, including New Zealand Football and Football Australia, expressed their condolences for the victims and their families. They reassured everyone that the incident was unrelated to the Women’s World Cup and emphasized the safety measures in place.