FIFA has given the green light for the opening match of the Women’s World Cup in Auckland to go ahead as planned, despite a shooting that left three people dead on Thursday, July 20, 2023, in Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau, Aotearoa in New -Zealand.
One of the hosts, New Zealand kicked off the first match against Norway at Eden Park on Thursday at 8:00 GMT. New Zealand Police claimed it was an “isolated incident”, saying it poses no national security risk, ensuring the match can go ahead safely.
In a statement, FIFA sent “its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives”. Football’s governing body immediately contacted authorities in Aotearoa New Zealand and continued communication with the participating teams confirmed that the incident was unrelated to football operations, allowing the opening match to take place without delay.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins also stressed the rapid neutralization of the threat, prioritizing the safety of New Zealanders and visitors during the tournament.
As a reminder, only four African nations are taking part in this 9th edition of the Women’s World Cup . These are South Africa, Morocco, Zambia and Nigeria.