Unrest in Dutch cities after Morocco's World Cup win against Belgium

Unrest in Dutch cities after Morocco's World Cup win against Belgium

Police forces had to be deployed across various Dutch cities on Sunday evening after football fans wreaked havoc following Morocco’s unexpected World Cup win against Belgium. 

Football fans riot in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague

When the Moroccan team faced off against Belgium in their second match of the FIFA World Cup on Sunday afternoon, few expected them to walk away victorious. However, two last-minute goals from Morocco saw the team claim a stunning 2 - 0 victory against Belgium, placing them second in their pool with a total of four points. 

In response to the unexpected win, hundreds of football fans took to the streets of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague to celebrate. The celebrations quickly took a turn, however, with fans in Rotterdam and The Hague throwing fireworks at police officers, and fans in Amsterdam setting fire to a car and a moped. Two officers in Rotterdam were injured in the riots, and were taken to hospital.

In other cities, the celebrations were less disruptive. A few small fires were reported in Utrecht, although witnesses say the atmosphere in the city was positive. In Amersfoort, fans set off fireworks and set a moped on fire. Similar scenes were also reported in some cities in Belgium, but celebrations in Morocco were significantly more subdued:

Dutch Justice Minister condemns "criminal behaviour" of rioters

Forces of the Dutch riot police were deployed in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague to subdue the fans and bring an end to the disruption, and were luckily able to quickly get the situation under control. Officers in The Hague say local youth workers and relatives of the rioters helped to prevent the situation from becoming more violent.

It’s unclear how many were arrested in Rotterdam, but police have reported one arrest in The Hague and another in Amsterdam, with forces in the Dutch capital saying they don’t want to rule out the possibility of further arrests. 

Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Yesilgöz took to Twitter on Sunday evening to express her disappointment in the behaviour of fans. “Rioters, really, shame on you,” Yesilgöz wrote. “Perpetrators should be prosecuted for this abject, criminal behaviour.” 

Thumb: via Shuterstock.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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