Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Violence breaks out in Brussels over Belgium’s World Cup loss to Morocco

Two second half goals from Romain Saiss and Zakaria Aboukhlal could spell the end of Belgium’s journey in Qatar if they lose their last match of the group.

• November 27, 2022
Brussels riot
Brussels Riot [Photo Credit: CNA]

Police in Belgium have sealed off part of the country’s capital city of Brussel after violence erupted following the country’s shocking 2-0 loss to Morocco Sunday evening.

The Devils were stunned in their penultimate Group F game at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

It was an upset that put the second best footballing nation in the world on the brink of group stage elimination from the biggest football showpiece in the world.

Two second half goals from Romain Saiss and Zakaria Aboukhlal could spell the end of Belgium’s journey in Qatar if they lose their last match of the group.

Following the defeat, dozens of rioters set steps on fire and pelted cars with bricks, prompting police to water cannons and fire tear gas to disperse crowds after one person was injured, Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere said.

Philippe Close, the Mayor for the city of Brussels, has implored football fans to stay off the centre of the city while authorities do their best to restore order in the streets. Even subway and tram traffic had to be interrupted on police orders.

The off-field rivalry between Morocco and Belgium was a major talking point in the build up to today’s match, with the head coach of the Morocco national team, Walid Regragui even urging Belgium-born players in the Moroccan squad to do away with their emotions and focus on the game.

According to AP news, Morocco’s victory was enthusiastically celebrated by fans with Moroccan immigrant roots in many Belgian cities. However, the number of people that were detained as a result of the violence cannot be confirmed at the moment.

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