In the group stage match of the World Cup in Qatar, the number two team in the FIFA ranking lost to the team number 22 in the Belgium ranking by 2-0 on Sunday. The football lovers of the country could not accept such defeat of Belgium. Violent protests started in the capital Brussels. Tearcells and water cannons were used to quell them, Al-Jazeera reported.
Dozens of rioters were reported to have overturned cars, set fires, torched electric scooters and pelted vehicles with bricks and stones in the city. Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse van de Keer said some fans were armed with sticks and a journalist was injured by fireworks.
Brussels Mayor Philippe Close urged people to stay away from the city center and said authorities were doing their best to maintain order on the streets. Even the subway and tram movement had to be interrupted on the orders of the police.
“I strongly condemn the events of this afternoon,” Close tweeted. The police have already intervened strongly. So I advise fans against coming to the city center. Police are trying their best to maintain public order. I have ordered the police to arrest the troublemakers.’
Around 100 policemen were deployed to bring the situation under control. However, it was not immediately clear how many people were arrested during the disturbance. On the other hand, metro stations were closed and roads were blocked to limit the spread of violence.
As well as Belgium, the violence has also spread to the neighboring Dutch port city of Rotterdam, police said. Riot officers in the city tried to break up a group of 500 football fans. They threw firecrackers and glass at the police. The media reported unrest in the country’s capital Amsterdam and The Hague.