Morocco victory celebrations end with dozens arrested in Belgium and Netherlands

Celebrations
Celebrations in Brussels for the victory of Morocco’s national soccer team – James Arthur Gekiere/BELGA/dpa

Belgian security forces arrested more than a hundred people Tuesday night for altercations linked to celebrations following Morocco’s World Cup victory, while dozens of arrests have also been confirmed in the Netherlands in similar incidents.

The Brussels police put the number of people arrested at 119, although 114 of these cases involved only administrative offenses, for disturbing the public order. Only five of those arrested must appear before a judge, explained police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere, according to ‘Le Soir’.

One of the neighborhoods with the most incidents was Lemonnier, where a group of people acted as a human chain to contain potential rioters. The mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close, and the police themselves have thanked the work of these «elders», who had already been deployed in the previous match.

On the other hand, some 35 people were arrested for disturbances after the match in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, in addition to another ten arrests in Amsterdam, ten in The Hague and one in Utrecht, although the Dutch authorities, like the Belgian authorities, have maintained that most of the festivities took place without incident.

In the case of Rotterdam, seven of those arrested are due to appear before the police next Saturday, coinciding with the quarter-final match between Morocco and Portugal, reports public broadcaster NOS.