New Zealand Women's Football Team Shines Despite Hotel Fire at World Cup
The New Zealand team remained in high spirits despite a fire incident that briefly forced them to evacuate their hotel during the Women's World Cup, according to Andrew Pragnell, the CEO of New Zealand Football.
Pragnell stated that the team sought refuge at a nearby restaurant after evacuating at approximately 8 p.m. (800 GMT) on Saturday night. He clarified that there was no apparent connection between the incident and the team or the tournament.
A suspect in connection with the fire was apprehended by the New Zealand police and was now facing charges of arson and burglary, Pragnell confirmed.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Pragnell assured that all players and staff were in good health. Despite the unexpected situation, the team managed to train well in the sunny weather and were in good form.
The fire disrupted an otherwise remarkable few days for the Ferns, who achieved their first-ever World Cup victory by defeating former champions Norway 1-0 in a thrilling match at Eden Park in front of a record home crowd.
Their upcoming match against the Philippines in Wellington on Tuesday is garnering significant attention, even in a country more traditionally interested in rugby.
Defender C.J. Bott expressed her excitement over the team's impressive performance and the increasing popularity of football in New Zealand. She believed that their victory over Norway set a new benchmark for the team as they aimed to progress beyond the group stage.
Bott remained optimistic about the team's future prospects, asserting that they would only move forward and that the sky was the limit for their achievements.