Riots broke out in several Belgian and Dutch cities after Morocco’s upset 2-0 win over Belgium at Sunday’s World Cup.
Police arrested about a dozen people after they deployed water cannon and tear gas to disperse crowds in Brussels and eight others in the northern city of Antwerp. Two police officials were injured in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam. By Sunday night, an uneasy quiet had returned to most of the cities involved.
Dozens of rioters overturned and set cars on fire, set electric scooters on fire and threw bricks at cars. Brussels police spokesman Ilse Van de Keere said police arrived after one person suffered a facial injury.
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close urged people to stay away from the city center and said authorities were doing their best to keep order on the streets. Even subway and tram traffic had to be disrupted by police orders.
“It’s not the fans, they’re the rioters. The Moroccan fans are there to celebrate,” said Close. There were also disturbances in the cities of Antwerp and Liege.
Home Secretary Annelies Verlinden said: “It’s sad to see some individuals using their circumstances to run wild.
Police in neighboring the Netherlands say violence broke out in the port city of Rotterdam, as riot officers tried to disperse a group of 500 football fans who threw fireworks and glasses at the scene. close. Media reported unrest in the capital Amsterdam and The Hague.
Morocco’s victory was a huge defeat at the World Cup and was enthusiastically celebrated by immigrant Moroccan fans in many Belgian and Dutch cities.