World Cup 2022: Brussels police detain 59 people after Morocco victory
Brussels police detained 59 people Saturday evening following riots that dampened the festivities of Morocco supporters. An additional person was arrested, according to police spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere.
After the match between Morocco-Portugal, supporters gathered in different districts across Brussels including Lemonnier, Midi, Dansaert, Etang Noirs as well as the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and Schaerbeek.
"Immediately after the football match, Boulevard du Midi towards Porte d'Anderlecht, and Boulevard Poincaré from Porte de Ninove were closed to traffic as a preventive measure, as was the Porte de Hal tunnel," said Van de Keere.
"After the match, there was mainly a large mass influx of partygoers in the following sectors: Lemonnier/Zuid and Dansaertwijk in Brussels, Zwarte Vijvers and municipal square in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek and between Paviljoen and Berenkuil in Schaarbeek. We found that pyrotechnic material was being used on a massive scale."
"Just like last time, the elderly from the neighbourhood have formed a chain to calm things down," she added. "Our services immediately intervened against small groups of rioters who threw projectiles at the security forces and used fireworks near Poincarélaan and Place de l'Aviation in Brussels and on Baraplein in Anderlecht."
Dozens of arrests had been made by 21:00 but that figure rose to 59 administrative arrests and one judicial arrest. Almost half of the people detained by Brussels Capital/Elsene police on Saturday were minors, several media reported and the Brussels police confirmed. "47 people were detained in our police zone, 23 of whom were minors," said police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere.
Moroccan supporters celebrating victory in the centre of Brussels after winning the FIFA 2022 World Cup quarter-final game between Morocco and Portugal on 10 December 2022 © BELGA PHOTO ANTONY GEVAERT