Women's World Cup: New Zealand players' hotel targeted by arson attack

Three days after the shooting in downtown Auckland, New Zealand, on the day of the opening match of the Women's World Cup, the New Zealand team's hotel caught fire and had to be evacuated. One suspect was arrested.

New Zealand players in the opening match of the World Cup against Norway. July 20, 2023. AFP - MARTY MELVILLE

Text by: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Wellington, Richard Tindiller

The New Zealand Football Association may claim that this fire did not explicitly target the national team, but it still raises questions. Especially after the shooting that took place Thursday morning, just before the start of the competition, in a building under construction. A shooting that left three dead, including the assailant.

On Saturday, about thirty firefighters went to the Pullman Hotel where the players live, which is also the base of the Football Fern, the New Zealand team. All occupants of the building were evacuated while the fires were extinguished.

Neither the New Zealand team nor the World Cup targeted

On Sunday morning, a 34-year-old man was charged with burglary and arson. He is due to appear in court in Auckland court tomorrow, Monday. The New Zealand Federation assures that this fire did not target FIFA or the World Cup.

But after talks between the two parties, FIFA asked New Zealand to raise security measures during the competition.

" READ ALSO New Zealand: fatal shooting in Auckland on the opening day of the Women's World Cup

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  • Women's World Cup 2023
  • Women's football