Riots broke out in several Belgian and Dutch cities last night, shortly after Belgium’s 2-0 World Cup loss to Morocco on Sunday, November 27.
Morocco’s win which was a major upset at the tournament was enthusiastically celebrated by fans with Moroccan immigrant roots in many Belgian and Dutch cities. A chaotic scene however ensued after supporters of both countries clashed in the European cities.
In Brussels, the police detained about a dozen people after they deployed water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse crowds. About eight persons were also arrested in the Northern city of Antwerp. There was also a riot in Liege.
Commenting on the riot, Brussels’ mayor Philippe Close urged people to stay away from the city center and said authorities were doing their utmost to keep order in the streets.
“Those are not fans, they are rioters. Moroccan fans are there to celebrate.”
The country’s Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden also said;
“Sad to see how a few individuals abuse a situation to run amok.”
In the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, two police officers were injured as a result of the riot. The riot officers had attempted to break up a group of 500 soccer supporters who pelted the security operatives with fireworks and glass. The local media also reported unrest in the capital Amsterdam and The Hague.