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World Cup, incidents in Brussels after Morocco’s victory over Belgium

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World Cup, incidents in Brussels after Morocco’s victory over Belgium

After the success of the Moroccan national team against Belgium in Qatar, hundreds of fans took to the streets: cars and motorbikes destroyed, then the intervention of the police in anti-riot gear

A few dozen young Moroccan fans stormed the streets of central Brussels and the Midi season area, following today’s victory of the Moroccan national team over Belgium at the World Cup in Qatar. The result was an evening of urban warfare with the intervention of a hundred police officers in anti-riot gear with vans and water cannons, after the destruction of the street furniture in the center and the fires set on cars, scooters and electric scooters, especially in the area between Lemonnier and Place Bourse: fans threw stones and firecrackers at the police.

Damage and injuries

“A journalist was injured in the face by fireworks”, according to reports from the police. Boulevard Anspach, the main downtown avenue, was closed and police appealed to avoid the area. For reasons of public safety, the metro stations of Beekkant, Sainte-Catherine, De Broucke’re and Gare Centrale had already been closed. “I strongly condemn the incidents, the police have already intervened firmly,” wrote the mayor of Brussels Philippe Close. “I advise fans not to come to the city centre. The police are using all their means to keep order I gave them the order to proceed with the administrative arrests of those responsible for the clashes”.

The Police Conference

The police spokeswoman, Ilse Van de Keere, explained that the riots began even before the end of the match, when “dozens of people, some of whom were hooded, tried to confront the police, compromising security public” and for these reasons “we decided to proceed with an intervention”. And again: “There was use of pyrotechnic material, projectiles thrown, use of sticks, fires on public land, in particular of a container at the intersection of boulevard Lemonnier and rue de Woeringen. We also deplore the destruction of a traffic light and the encirclement of a vehicle with an occupant on Boulevard Lemonnier”.

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