Riots erupted in several cities of Belgium and the Netherlands after their national team was stunned by Morocco with a 2-0 thumping win in FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The defeat for Belgium now leaves them in a vulnerable position on final matchday as they face 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia in what will be a ‘must-win’ contest. The discontent of the fans then took center stage and showed their anger in public places and streets.
Police detained about a dozen people after they deployed water cannons and fire tear gas to disperse crowds in Brussels. Dozens of rioters overturned and torched cars, set electric scooters on fire and pelted cars with bricks.
Police moved in after one person suffered facial injuries, said Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere. 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. Even subway and tram traffic had to be interrupted on police orders.
“Those are not fans, they are rioters. Moroccan fans are there to celebrate,” Close said.
There were also disturbances in the city of Antwerp and Liege.
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“Sad to see how a few individuals abuse a situation to run amok,” said Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.
Police in the neighbouring Netherlands said violence erupted in the port city of Rotterdam, with riot officers attempting to break up a group of 500 soccer supporters who pelted police with fireworks and glass.
Media reported unrest in the capital Amsterdam and The Hague. Morocco's victory was a major upset at the World Cup and was enthusiastically celebrated by fans with Moroccan immigrant roots in many Belgian and Dutch cities.
10 people arrested in Brussels after riots
Atleast 10 people were detained in Brussels where riots erupted after Morocco beat Belgium 2-0 at the World Cup in Qatar. The Belgium-based authority said that about ten administrative arrests and one judicial arrest were made amid the riots.
Meanwhile, Le Soir said that about ten arrests were made in the port city of Antwerp on Sunday. Transport disruptions were reported in Belgium amid Sunday riots.