Belgian riot police fire tear gas and water cannons at violent crowds setting fires and smashing cars in Brussels as world No2 side Belgium LOSE to Morocco 2-0 in another major Qatar World Cup upset
- Police sealed off parts of the city, deployed water cannons and fired tear gas
- Dozens of rioters set steps on fire and pelted cars with bricks following match
- Police moved in when one person suffered facial injuries, a spokesperson said
Rioters have started fires and pelted cars with bricks in Brussels following Belgium’s shock 2-0 loss to Morocco at the World Cup.
Police had to seal off parts of the city centre, deployed water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse crowds as violence broke out following the match.
Dozens of rioters set steps on fire and pelted cars with bricks, before police moved in when one person suffered facial injuries, according to a police spokesperson.
Brussels mayor Philippe Close urged all football fans to stay away from the city centre 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.
A fan holds a Moroccan flag in Brussels as electric scooters burn in the background following the World Cup match
Riot police on the scene in the Belgian capital following an outbreak of unrest with cars set on fire
Clashes in Brussels after the World Cup football match between Belgium and Morocco this evening
Dozens of rioters set steps on fire and pelted cars with bricks in the capital, before police moved in
Rioters clash with police amid a fire in the middle of a street in the Belgian capital this evening
Police had to seal off parts of the city centre, deployed water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse crowds
Brussels mayor Philippe Close urged football fans to stay away from the city centre amid the unrest
A police vehicle is pictured in a busy street just metres away from a burning car following Belgium’s defeat
Morocco’s victory was a major upset at the tournament and was enthusiastically celebrated by fans with Moroccan immigrant roots in many Belgian cities.
Even subway and tram traffic had to be interrupted on police orders, while there were also disturbances in the city of Antwerp.
It was not immediately clear how many people were detained during the disturbances.
Mr Close said has ordered police to make arrests, adding: ‘I strongly condemn the incidents that occurred this afternoon.
‘The police have already acted harshly. So I advise supporters not to come to the centre. The police are doing everything they can to maintain public order.’
Police in the neighboring Netherlands said violence erupted in the port city of Rotterdam, with riot officers attempting to break up a group of football supporters who pelted police with fireworks and glass.
Earlier, Morocco had claimed a deserved victory following goals from Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal.
Morocco supporters were sent into delirium in the 73rd minute when substitute Sabiri deceived Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a free-kick whipped in at the near post and in to the net.
Mr Close said has ordered police to make arrests, adding: ‘I strongly condemn the incidents that occurred this afternoon’
Rioters hurl items towards police as violence broke out in Brussels following the World Cup match
A police spokesperson today said dozens of people attacked officers with street furniture
A man is seen throwing an object during clashes after the World Cup match
The explosion of noise and colour was immediate and prolonged.
And in injury time there was to be another, this time created by Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech for another substitute Aboukhlal.
Belgium, fancied once again to make an impact at the tournament, were poor in beating Canada in their opening game and were pretty dreadful again today.
The victory was celebrated by Moroccan immigrants in Belgium this afternoon, where more than 11.5 million people, including around 500,000 from Morocco, are of foreign origin.