Hundreds of fans of the Moroccan football team took to the streets of Belgian and Dutch cities on Tuesday to celebrate their team’s victory over Spain in the 1/8 finals of the World Cup in Qatar. The situation was not calm everywhere. In Brussels and Amsterdam, the police had to intervene.
The sensational defeat of the Spanish national team caused an explosion of enthusiasm among the fans of the Moroccan team in many Dutch cities. According to media information, it was most dangerous in the capital, as well as in The Hague and Rotterdam. The police had to intervene everywhere.
Hundreds of young people gathered on Mercatorplein in Amsterdam. A spokeswoman for the Amsterdam police told RTL Nieuws that they were throwing fireworks at buses and also dancing on cars.
The Metropolitan Police tweeted in the evening for everyone to leave Mercatorplein and added that officers would “act against criminals”. A special police unit with dogs and a water cannon arrived at the scene. The square was closed and, according to NPO Radio 1, “many people were detained.”
A similarly tense situation took place on the Kruisplein in Rotterdam, where the police also evacuated a square in the city center. The NOS portal reported in the evening that the police detained three people in The Hague. This happened after officers ordered to leave Schilderswijk, where hundreds of supporters had gathered Moroccoand some people refused to leave.
In Brussels, police used water cannons against Moroccan fans
In Brussels, Boulevard Lemonnier and the area around South Station (Midi) – one of the many neighborhoods inhabited by Moroccan immigrants – filled with hundreds of people celebrating as soon as the penalty shoot-out ended.
To prevent it from happening again riots like November 27some of the fans formed living chains separating the cheering crowd from the policemen.
According to the news portal hln.be, around 8 p.m., officers had to intervene to calm down groups of fans who were becoming aggressive. In response, rocks and firecrackers were thrown at the policemen. Some Moroccans tried to get close to the cordon and provoke a fight. Tear gas and water cannons were used.
Main photo source: NIEUWSFOTO.NL/PAP/EPA