Police arrested at least four people on Sunday evening after riots broke out in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague following Morocco’s World Cup victory over Belgium. The Mobile Unit (ME) was deployed for this. Fires were set, cars destroyed, and fireworks set. It is not yet clear how much damage has been done in major cities.
Celebrations following Morocco’s World Cup victory turned into riots in major cities as a group of around 500 people took to the streets in each city.
In total, four people were arrested. The police do not rule out that other people will be arrested later.
Two people have been arrested in Rotterdam. Two policemen were also injured in the clashes. One of them suffered hearing damage, the other a head injury, police said. On the Kruisplein, fireworks and glass were thrown at the police. Traffic and public transport were also partially hampered. Calm returned around 7.30pm. “It is not yet clear what the damage will be to the city,” police said.
In The Hague, people gathered around Vaillantplein. Football fans launched heavy fireworks and opened the cars of passers-by. Youth workers and so-called neighborhood fathers helped prevent the worst, according to a police spokesman. One person was arrested and around 7.30pm it was quieter on the street.
One person was also arrested in Amsterdam. At the Mercatorplein in the capital, a car caught fire and supporters smashed several street signs and windows. Amsterdam police will look into what the riots mean for the police effort during their upcoming match against Morocco on Thursday.
In other cities it remained quieter. There have been a few road fires here and there in Utrecht and Amersfoort, but police speak of a festive atmosphere.
Morocco surprisingly won 2-0 against Belgium at the World Cup on Sunday and therefore have good prospects for reaching the round of 16.
“Rebellious indeed, shame on you,” Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgöz tweeted on Sunday evening. “The police had to act tough tonight. Together with the judiciary, they are now investigating the events. The perpetrators must be prosecuted for this abject and criminal behaviour.”
Unrest also in Belgium after the Morocco-Belgium match
Several people were injured in Brussels and street furniture, a traffic light and parked cars were destroyed in the center of the Belgian capital. A television crew from the VRT extension he was attacked and a journalist was injured in the face by fireworks. The police fired tear gas and a water cannon.
A dozen administrative arrests were made in Brussels to get the disorderly people off the streets. One person has been arrested. The police “will do everything possible to identify the rioters in the coming days,” said Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden.
Rioters also clashed with police in Antwerp and Liège. In Antwerp, police deployed a water cannon and closed streets after festivities got out of hand. A television reporter was punched in front of the rotating camera by someone passing by. In Liège, dozens of people attacked a police station after the game. Windows and police cars were damaged.