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Football fans riot through Brussels after shock World Cup loss to Morocco

Rachel Lang

Published 
| Last updated 

Football fans riot through Brussels after shock World Cup loss to Morocco

Football fans have descended on the streets of the Belgium's capital in the wake of the nation's staggering loss to Morocco.

They were beaten 2-0 by the African side at the World Cup in Qatar, despite the Belgians outranking their opponents by 20 places in the FIFA global rankings.

The win marks a huge loss for Belgium and fans took to the streets in Brussels to make their feelings known.

Protestors clashed with riot police after the Qatar 2022 World Cup football match between Belgium and Morocco. Credit: ALEXANDROS MICHAILIDIS / Alamy
Protestors clashed with riot police after the Qatar 2022 World Cup football match between Belgium and Morocco. Credit: ALEXANDROS MICHAILIDIS / Alamy

Police in the Belgian capital were forced to use tear gas and water cannons to bring crowds under control.

Tensions were already boiling high before the match had even ended.

Brussels police said in a statement that 'dozens of people, including some wearing hoodies, sought confrontation with the police, which compromised public safety'.

The spokesperson added, as per France24, some fans were attacking with sticks and a reporter was injured after they were struck 'in the face by fireworks'.

Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close was quick to call out the unruly behaviour on Twitter.

"I condemn in the strongest terms the incidents of this afternoon. The police have already firmly intervened," he said.

"I therefore advise against fans coming to the city centre. The police are doing all they can to maintain public order."

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

There have also been reports of violent outbreaks in Antwerp, Belgium's most-populous city.

Protestors clashed with riot police after the Qatar 2022 World Cup football match between Belgium and Morocco. Credii: ALEXANDROS MICHAILIDIS / Alamy
Protestors clashed with riot police after the Qatar 2022 World Cup football match between Belgium and Morocco. Credii: ALEXANDROS MICHAILIDIS / Alamy

While FIFA had Roberto Martinez's side second in the rankings, star midfielder De Bruyne wasn't so convinced, saying earlier in the week that the team is 'too old' to win the tournament.

That seems to have annoyed centre back Vertonghen, the oldest player in the squad, who appeared to take a dig at that conclusion.

"In the end we conceded two identical goals on the set piece, twice at the near post. Balls that should never go in," the defender said after the game.

"The first time we got away with, the second time not anymore.

"There’s so much going through my mind right now, things I shouldn’t say in the open air. I don’t think we created any chances. Where did it go wrong?" the Anderlecht star said, criticising the team's attack.

"We probably also attack badly because we are too old, that must be it now, surely?

"We have a lot of quality up front, but so does Morocco, and they came out better today. This is very frustrating."

Featured Image Credit: ALEXANDROS MICHAILIDIS / Alamy.

Topics: World Cup, World News, Football, Sport, News

Rachel Lang
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