FIFA Women\’s World Cup: Co-hosts Australia, New Zealand begin with wins and record crowds

Australia and New Zealand, co-hosting the ninth Women\’s World Cup, kicked off the tournament with wins and record-breaking crowds on Thursday. The celebration was dampened by a shooting near the Norwegian team hotel in Auckland, resulting in three fatalities and six injuries. However, authorities confirmed that the shooter was among the deceased, and there was no further threat to national security, as reassured by New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

Amidst the opening ceremony that showcased traditional Maori culture, including the iconic Haka war dance, the match at Eden Park witnessed a stunning goal from Hannah Wilkinson, securing a 1-0 victory over Norway. The game attracted a remarkable crowd of 42,137, setting a new record for the highest attendance at an international soccer match in the host nation.

In response to the shooting incident, additional police and security measures were deployed outside the stadium to ensure the safety of attendees. Spectators appreciated the enhanced presence of law enforcement, with many expressing relief and feeling safer during the opening ceremony.

Football\’s governing body FIFA issued a statement, expressing its support for teams in the vicinity of the incident. Despite the unfortunate events, the energy and excitement surrounding the Women\’s World Cup remained high, and fans were thrilled to witness the world\’s top female footballers competing in this prestigious tournament

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