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RIOTS IN BRUSSELS AFTER MOROCCO BEAT BELGIUM AT WORLD CUP

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Police in Brussels deployed water cannons and fired tear gas to disperse crowds on Sunday following violence during and after Morocco’s 2-0 upset win over Belgium at the World Cup.

Dozens of rioters overturned and torched a car, set electric scooters on fire and pelted cars with bricks.

Police spokeswoman Ilse Van de Keere said some fans were armed with sticks and a journalist “was injured in the face by fireworks”.

Brussels Mayor Philippe Close urged people to stay away from the city centre and said authorities were doing their utmost to keep order in the streets. Even subway and tram traffic had to be interrupted by police orders.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the incidents of this afternoon. The police have already firmly intervened. I, therefore, advise against fans coming to the city centre.

The police are doing all they can to maintain public order,” Close tweeted.

“I have ordered the police to carry out arrests of the troublemakers.”

About 100 police officers were mobilised, but it was not immediately clear how many people were arrested during the disturbances.

Meanwhile, metro stations were closed and streets blocked to limit the spread of the violence.

Morocco jeopardised Belgium’s World Cup hopes as Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal’s late goals secured a surprise 2-0 triumph in Doha.

Belgium, third in Russia four years ago, could have qualified for the last 16 with victory but instead produced another insipid display after their fortunate opening win over Canada.

Morocco replace Belgium at the top of Goup F and know they will qualify for the knockout phase for the first time since 1986 if they can avoid defeat against Canada on Thursday.

Belgium, the world’s second-ranked side, will have to beat 2018 runners-up Croatia to be sure of going through.

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