Riots in Belgium, Netherlands after Morocco win at World Cup

Riots in Belgium, Netherlands after Morocco’s World Cup victory

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Riots broke out in several Belgian and Dutch cities after Morocco’s 2-0 upset victory over Belgium at the World Cup on Sunday.

Police detained about a dozen people to disperse crowds in Brussels and eight more in the northern city of Antwerp. Two police officers were injured in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam. By late Sunday evening, an uneasy calm had returned to most of the cities involved.

Dozens of rioters overturned and set cars on fire, torched electric scooters and pelted cars with bricks. Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere said police responded after a man was hit in the face.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Clos urged people to stay away from the city center and said authorities were doing their best to keep order on the streets. Even metro and tram traffic had to be disrupted on the orders of the police.

“They are not fans, they are rioters. The Moroccan fans are there to celebrate,” Klose said. Disturbances also occurred in Antwerp and the city of Liège.

Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden said, “It is sad to see how some people lose their temper by abusing the situation.”

Police in the neighboring Netherlands said violence broke out in the port city of Rotterdam after riot officers attempted to break up a group of 500 football supporters who pelted police with fireworks and glass. The media reported unrest in the capital Amsterdam and The Hague.

The Moroccan victory was a major upset at the World Cup and was celebrated enthusiastically by fans of Moroccan immigrant origin in several Belgian and Dutch cities.

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