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World Cup upset sparks violent rioting in Brussels

Police cars drive past burning electric scooters on the sideline of the live broadcast of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match between Belgium and Morocco, in Brussels, on November 27, 2022. (Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)
Police cars drive past burning electric scooters on the sideline of the live broadcast of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match between Belgium and Morocco, in Brussels, on November 27, 2022. (Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

Police have sealed off parts of the center of Brussels, deployed water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse crowds following violence during and after Morocco’s 2-0 upset win over Belgium at the World Cup.

Dozens of rioters set steps on fire and pelt cars with bricks. Police moved in after one person suffered facial injuries, says Brussels police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere.

Brussels mayor Philippe Close urges soccer fans to stay away from the city center and says authorities are doing their utmost to keep order in the streets. Even subway and tram traffic was interrupted on police orders.

Morocco’s victory was a major upset at the World Cup and was enthusiastically celebrated by fans with Moroccan immigrant roots in many Belgian cities.

It is not immediately clear how many people are detained during the disturbances.

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