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27 Nov, 2022 22:43

Football riots grip EU cities (VIDEOS)

Police deployed water cannons and tear gas against unruly crowds in several Belgian and Dutch cities
Football riots grip EU cities (VIDEOS)

Violent scenes unfolded on the streets of multiple European cities, including Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam on Sunday, as hordes of unruly football fans clashed with riot police after Morocco beat Belgium 2-0 in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Authorities in Brussels used tear gas and water cannons in their effort to rein in the damage as Morocco fans smashed store windows and set fire to cars, according to AFP. 

Video posted to social media showed a mob attacking a car and scooters, while another clip featured fans setting off fireworks and cheering. 

Riot police reportedly had to seal off parts of the city center, including a popular Christmas market, and some public transport was ordered to shut down.

According to AP, a dozen people were arrested in Brussels and eight more in Antwerp.

In the Netherlands, authorities were forced to deploy riot police to contain a restless crowd in central Amsterdam, urging people to leave the area near Mercatorplein square. In Rotterdam, two police officers were reportedly injured amid unrest.

Local politicians denounced the hooligans for bringing "shame to real fans" and urged residents to stay away from the city center while stressing that the majority of the revelers were behaving peacefully.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close noted that police had been forced to act “harshly” and belatedly ordered them to arrest the troublemakers.

Celebrations in Morocco’s capital, Rabat were comparatively subdued as fans sang and danced to mark their team’s first win in a World Cup match since 1998. Morocco’s next match is against Canada on December 1.