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Women’s World Cup threaten as New Zealand shooter kills two ahead of opening match

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At least two people and an armed attacker were killed and five others wounded in a shooting in New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland on Thursday, hours ahead of the opening match of the Women’s soccer World Cup in the city.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the soccer tournament would proceed as planned, adding the shooting appeared to be the actions of an individual and that police were not seeking anyone else in relation to the incident.

“There was no identified political or ideological motivation for the shooting and therefore no national security risk,” Hipkins said during a televised media briefing.

There would be no change to New Zealand’s security threat level although there would be an increased police presence in the city, he said.

Auckland has welcomed thousands of international players and tourists for the ninth Women’s World Cup which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

“Obviously we would prefer it not to have started in this way,” Hipkins told journalists later in the day.

“It will be acknowledged what happened today at the opening ceremony. And I will be going, it is safe to go and we continue to encourage the whole community to get behind this,” he said.

The gunman has not been formally identified but is believed to be a 24-year-old male who was employed at the construction site where the shooting occurred, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said at a news conference.

He was armed with a pump-action shot gun and moved through a building site shooting. After reaching the upper levels he contained himself within an elevator shaft and fired more shots before being found dead a short time later.

An officer was injured in the shooting, as well as four members of the public.

The gunman was the subject of a sentence of home detention but had an exemption to work at the site.

“The individual is known for primarily family violence history. There is nothing to suggest that he has presented a higher-level risk than was indicated by that history,” Coster said.

Soccer teams from New Zealand, Norway, Italy, the US, Vietnam and Portugal were known to be in the city when the shooting occurred.

“FIFA has been informed that this was an isolated incident that was not related to football operations and the opening match tonight at Eden Park will proceed as planned,” FIFA said in a statement to Reuters.

“The participating teams in close proximity to this incident are being supported in relation to any impact that may have taken place.”

In the two opening World Cup matches on Thursday, Norway plays New Zealand in Auckland while Australia faces Ireland in Sydney.

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Nigerian League

Sporting Lagos to appoint Biffo as new head coach

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Sporting Lagos are set to appoint Abdullahi Biffo as their new head coach. Biffo will take charge from Paul Offor who was sacked on Wednesday night.

Sporting Lagos are set to appoint Abdullahi Biffo as their new head coach.

Biffo will take charge from Paul Offor who was sacked on Wednesday night.

The experienced tactician has managed a number of top sides in the Nigeria Premier Football League.

He once managed Kwara United, Katsina United and Niger Tornadoes in the top-flight.

The gaffer is expected to help improve the fortune of the modest side.

Sporting Lagos have moved to 11th position on the table following an improved performance in the second half of the season.

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Nigerian League

Sporting Lagos sack head coach Paul Offor

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Nigeria Premier Football League side, Sporting Lagos have parted ways with head coach Paul Offor. Offor was sacked

Nigeria Premier Football League side, Sporting Lagos have parted ways with head coach Paul Offor.

Offor was sacked following his side’s struggles in the NPFL.

The tactician’s departure was confirmed on the club’s X handle.

The statement reads “Sporting Lagos announces the departure of head Coach Paul Offor,”

“Coach Paul brought top-flight football back to our city and gave us the first piece of silverware in our history.

“Thank you for everything, coach Paul. We wish you the very best in your future endeavours.”

Sporting Lagos have penciled down former Kwara United coach Abdullahi Biffo as his possible replacement.

They occupy 11th position on the NPFL table with 38 points.

Sporting Lagos have recorded 10 wins, eight draws and 12 defeats in the current campaign.

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Nigerian League

Saviour relishes Rangers’ derby victory over Abia Warriors

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Rangers midfielder Isaac Saviour has expressed his excitement after scoring in the club’s oriental derby win against Abia Warriors.

Rangers midfielder Isaac Saviour has expressed his excitement after scoring in the club’s oriental derby win against Abia Warriors.

Saviour opened scoring for the Flying Antelopes in their 3-2 win at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on Tuesday.

Kazeem Ogunleye and Chidozie Okorie were also on target for Rangers.

He revealed his plans to maintain his impressive performance for Rangers in subsequent games.

Saviour has netted three times in this campaign.

“I feel very excited,” he stated to the club’s media.

“I think that for some time I was out injured and coming back and got a chance to start a game and score against Katsina, I had it in mind that I had to continue scoring if at all, I wanted to make an instant impact in my team.

“I am very happy scoring against Abia Warriors after scoring in Katsina and I hope it goes on like that.

“It is always a joy to be selected as the man of the match and I feel excited and hopefully, more will come.”

Saviour will hope to add to his goal tally when Rangers battle Rivers United in their next league match this weekend.

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