Riots Ensue in Brussels Following Belgium's Upset World Cup Loss Vs. Morocco


Rioters in Brussels lit steps on fire, overturned cars and electric scooters and pelted cars with bricks following Belgium’s upset 2-0 loss to Morocco in the 2022 World Cup on Sunday. 

Police came in to seal off parts of central Brussels and deployed tear gas and water cannons to disperse dozens of people in the crowds. 

Officers moved in after one person suffered facial injuries, according to Brussels police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere. 

Brussels mayor Philippe Close urged fans to avoid the area and ordered police to maintain peace with all their means.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the incidents of this afternoon. The police have already intervened firmly. I therefore advise supporters not to come to the city center. The police use all their means to maintain public order,” Close’s statement read. 

“I ordered the police to carry out administrative arrests of the troublemakers.”

It was not immediately clear if and how many people were detained in the aftermath. 

About three hours later, Close said that “the situation is normalizing but the police remain mobilized.” Police limited the incidents to one avenue. 

There were also disturbances in the city of Antwerp.

Belgium, ranked the No. 2 nation in the world in FIFA’s international football ranking, entered Qatar with lofty expectations after making the semifinals in 2018. 

However, a narrow 1-0 win against Canada followed by Sunday’s loss to Morocco leaves the Red Devils in danger of being eliminated in the group stage if they can’t beat 2018 runner-ups Croatia on Thursday. Croatia is currently atop Group F with four points after beating Canada 4-1.

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