Riots erupt in the Netherlands, Belgium after Morocco’s FIFA World Cup win in 2-0 upset victory over Belgium in the World Cup on Sunday
Riots erupted in numerous Belgian and Dutch cities including the Netherlands following Morocco’s 2-0 upset victory over Belgium in the FIFA World Cup on Sunday.
Police detained over a dozen people in Brussels after using water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters, and eight more in Antwerp, Belgium’s northernmost city. In the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, two police officers were hurt. By late Sunday evening, most of the communities involved had returned to an edgy calm.
Several rioters overturned and burned automobiles, set fire to electric scooters, and pelted cars with bricks. According to Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere, authorities were called in after one person suffered face injuries.
Morocco defeated World No. 2 Belgium 2-0 in their second Group F encounter on Sunday at the Al Thumama stadium. Two replacements, Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal, scored to give the North African team a huge boost in their ambitions of reaching the knockout round of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Brussels mayor Philippe Close encouraged people to avoid the city centre and said authorities were doing all possible to maintain order on the streets. On police instructions, even subway and tram traffic had to be halted.
“Those are not fans, they are rioters. Moroccan fans are there to celebrate,” Mayor Close was reported saying.
There were also protests in the cities of Antwerp and Liege.
The riots by Moroccan fans have spread from Brussels to Amsterdam tonight.
Morocco won against Belgium 2-0 at the World Cup a few hours ago.
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) November 27, 2022
According to police in the adjacent Netherlands, riot forces attempted to break up a group of 500 soccer fans who pelted police with fireworks and glass in the port city of Rotterdam. Unrest was reported in Amsterdam and The Hague by the media.
Morocco’s World Cup victory was a significant upset, and Moroccan immigrant fans in several Belgian and Dutch communities joyfully celebrated it.
No one is quite sure why they “celebrated” this way or if was there something else that was the trigger for this reaction.