Around a dozen people were detained by police after they used water cannons as well as fire tear gas to disperse the crowds in Brussels. Rotterdam was the scene of two injuries sustained by police officers. Late Sunday night, calm returned to many of the cities affected.
Dozens upon dozens of rioters tore down cars and set them on fire, torch electric scooters and pelt cars with bricks. According to Ilse van de Keere, Brussels police spokesperson, police arrived after one person sustained facial injuries.
Philippe Close, mayor of Brussels, advised people to avoid the city centre and said that authorities were doing everything they could to maintain order on the streets. On police orders, even tram and subway traffic had to be stopped.
“Those are not rioters, they’re fans.” Close stated that Moroccan fans are there for the celebration. There were also disturbances around the city of Antwerp, Liege.
Annelies Verlinden, Interior Minister said it was “disappointing to see how a handful of individuals abuse a position to run amok.”
Police in the Netherlands claimed violence broke out in Rotterdam’s port city. They were trying to stop 500 soccer fans who attacked police with fireworks and other glass. The Hague and Amsterdam were the sites of unrest according to media reports.
Morocco’s victory at the World Cup was a huge upset and was cheered by many Belgian and Dutch fans who have Moroccan immigrant roots.