Riots broke out in a number of Belgian and Dutch cities on Sunday following Morocco’s surprise 2-0 victory over Belgium in the World Cup.
Police detained over a dozen people after firing tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds in Brussels and eight more in northern Antwerp. Two police injuries were reported in the port city of Rotterdam, Netherlands. By late Sunday night, the majority of the impacted communities had resumed a tense calm.
Numerous rioters threw bricks at moving vehicles, turned over and torched cars, and set electric scooters on fire. Police were called to the scene after one person suffered facial injuries, according to Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere.
Philippe Close, the mayor of Brussels, urged with residents to stay away from the city’s centre while assuring them that the police were doing all possible to uphold law and order. Even the traffic on the trams and the metro had to be stopped per police orders.
“Not supporters, but rioters. Supporters of Morocco are jubilant “Mr. Close made a comment. There were also disturbances in the cities of Liege and Antwerp.
The incident, according to Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden, was “sad to observe how a few people abuse a situation to go amok.”
In the port city of Rotterdam, rioting erupted as riot police attempted to disperse 500 soccer fans who were hurling fireworks and shattered glass at the police, according to police in the neighbouring Netherlands. Both the city’s capital, Amsterdam, and The Hague both reported unrest.