Women’s World Cup hosts begin with wins and record crowds after shooting rocks Auckland

Women’s World Cup hosts begin with wins and record crowds after shooting rocks Auckland

Australia and New Zealand, the co-hosts of the ninth Women’s World Cup, started the tournament with victories and record-breaking crowds. This came after a shooting near the Norwegian team hotel in Auckland, which resulted in three deaths and six injuries.

The shooter was among those killed, and the authorities confirmed that there was no further danger. New Zealand’s Prime Minister also assured that there was no risk to national security.

The opening ceremony, which showcased traditional Maori culture, was followed by a thrilling 1-0 victory for New Zealand over Norway, with Hannah Wilkinson scoring the winning goal at Eden Park. The match drew a crowd of 42,137, breaking the previous record for an international soccer match in the host nation.

In response to the shooting incident, extra police and security were deployed outside the stadium in Auckland. This increased presence reassured attendees, such as Isabella Beeortegui, who felt safer knowing that security measures were in place.

FIFA, the governing body of football, released a statement expressing support for teams affected by the incident. They confirmed that the shooting was unrelated to football operations and that the opening match at Eden Park would proceed as planned.

Due to the shooting, a fan park in the city remained closed on Thursday, as announced by the organizers.

Norway captain Maren Mjelde described the chaotic scene at the team hotel, with helicopters and emergency vehicles arriving. Despite the unsettling incident, Australia’s Matildas managed to secure a 1-0 victory against Ireland in front of a record-breaking crowd of 75,784 fans at Stadium Australia in Sydney.

However, the team faced a setback when their star striker, Sam Kerr, was ruled out of the first two games due to a calf injury.

The article highlights the progress made in women’s football, acknowledging that women were banned from official facilities in England until 1970. Despite the advancements, there are still disparities between men’s and women’s football, such as playing on artificial pitches and unequal prize money.

The Women’s World Cup has the potential to be a game-changer for women’s sport in Australia, according to Tracey Taylor, a professor of sports management. She believes that the tournament will raise awareness and position the sport globally and within local communities.

While Australia has shown great enthusiasm for the tournament, with tickets selling out months in advance, New Zealand has experienced lower demand. FIFA’s Secretary-General, Fatma Samoura, urged Kiwis to purchase tickets in advance, as sales in New Zealand have been slower compared to Australia.

The article concludes with statements from the Australian Prime Minister, who expressed the nation’s support for the team, and the New Zealand Sports Minister, who encouraged New Zealanders to seize the opportunity to experience a top-tier FIFA World Cup event.

The reporting was done by Alasdair Pal in Sydney, with additional contributions from Nathan Frandino in Auckland, Renju Jose in Sydney, Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, and Philip O’Connor in Stockholm. The article was edited by Lincoln Feast, Jacqueline Wong, Miral Fahmy, and Peter Rutherford, adhering to the Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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