World Cup riots in Brussels after Morocco beat Belgium

World Cup riots in Brussels after Morocco beat Belgium

Riots erupted in Brussels after public screenings of the World Cup match between Morocco and Belgium.
Riots erupted in Brussels after public screenings of the World Cup match between Morocco and Belgium.

BRUSSELS: Police used water cannon and teargas after coming under attack from football supporters who brought havoc to the centre of Brussels on Sunday following Morocco's shock 2-0 World Cup win over Belgium in Qatar.

Dozens of fans smashed shop windows, threw fireworks and torched vehicles.

Police said that 11 people had been arrested with one remaining in custody.

Even before the end of the match "dozens of people … sought confrontation with the police, which compromised public safety," Brussels police said in a statement.

A spokeswoman said some fans were armed with sticks, and that a journalist "was injured in the face by fireworks".

Around a hundred police officers were mobilised while residents were warned to avoid certain areas of the city centre. Metro stations were closed and streets sealed off to limit the spread of violence.

A surveillance helicopter flew over the city before calm was restored at around 7pm (18:00GMT). An AFP journalist saw protesters burning a car, rubbish bins and a number of electric scooters.

"I condemn in the strongest terms the incidents of this afternoon. The police have already firmly intervened. I therefore advise against fans coming to the city centre. The police are doing all they can to maintain public order," tweeted the mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close.

"I have ordered the police to carry out arrests of the troublemakers."

Belgium is home to around 500,000 people of Moroccan descent.

In the eastern city of Liege, a gang of 50 people attacked a police station, breaking windows and damaging two police vehicles. The police there also resorted to water cannon.

Storefronts and a bus shelter were vandalised. Incidents also broke out in Antwerp in the north where a dozen people were arrested.


  • compromise: to risk harming or losing something important; to reduce in quality, value, or degree; to weaken or lower - ยอมอ่อนข้อ
  • descent: being related to a particular person or group of people who lived in the past - การสืบเชื้อสาย
  • havoc: a situation in which there is a lot of damage or destruction, or in which something cannot continue in its normal way because of problems - ความเสียหายอย่างรุนแรง, ความหายนะ
  • intervene: to become involved in a situation in order to try to stop or change it - แทรกแซง
  • rubbish bin: a container that you put waste in - ถังขยะ
  • scooter (noun): a small motorcycle or other similar vehicle; a child’s vehicle with two small wheels attached to a narrow board with a vertical handle. - รถมอเตอร์ไซด์ที่มีขนาดเล็กและมีแผ่นรองเท้า, รถของเล่นเด็กที่ใช้เท้าถีบ
  • smash: to break something noisily into many pieces by dropping or hitting it with a lot of force - ทำให้แตกเป็นเสี่ยงๆ, ทำให้แตกเป็นชิ้นๆ
  • sought (past tense of seek): tried to get/do something; asked for something - พยายามได้, พยายามได้มา
  • storefront (adj): the outside of a shop/store that faces the street -
  • surveillance: the process of carefully watching a person or place that may be involved in a criminal activity - การตรวจตรา
  • torched: deliberately set on fire - ถูกวางเพลิง
  • water cannon: a machine that produces a powerful flow of water, used by the police to control crowds of people -
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