Riots broke out in Belgium’s Brussels after the Western Europe country lost to Morocco in a Fifa World Cup match on Sunday, Reuters reported.
Water cannons were deployed and tear gas shells used in several areas of the city to control the rioters, the police said. Eleven persons have been arrested, according to the BBC.
Visuals shared on social media showed rioters, some carrying Moroccan flags, overturning cars and setting fire to vehicles. Violence was also reported in Antwerp city.
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close said that authorities were working to restore order in the city.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the incidents of this afternoon,” Close tweeted. “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.”
Police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere said that officers have been deployed to patrol in sensitive areas.
“The rioters used pyrotechnic material, projectiles, sticks, and set fire on the public highway,” Keere said, according to Reuters. “Also, a journalist was injured in the face by fireworks.”
Belgium lost 2-0 to Morocco in the Group F match in Doha. Captain Romain Saïss and Forward Zakaria Aboukhlal scored for Morocco.
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 the violence, reported AFP.
A surveillance helicopter flew over the city before calm was restored around 7.00 pm (6:00 pm Greenwich Mean Time). An AFP journalist saw protesters burning a car, rubbish bins and electric scooters.
In the eastern city of Liege, a gang of 50 rioters attacked a police station, breaking windows and damaging two police vehicles. The police there also resorted to using water cannons.
Meanwhile, the riot police in the Netherlands baton-charged unruly Moroccan football supporters, who were celebrating their team’s victory, in three cities to disperse them.
The police took action in Rotterdam, where some 500 persons had gathered near the city centre, as well as in The Hague, Amsterdam and Utrecht, they tweeted.