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Football fans riot on streets of Brussels after World Cup defeat by Morocco

Riot police officers stand on a main boulevard in Brussels as violence broke out during and after Morocco's 2-0 win over Belgium at the World Cup Photo: AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert© AP

Alex PattleUK Independent

Belgium’s shock World Cup defeat by Morocco on Sunday led to riots on the streets of Brussels, with photos and videos showing cars being smashed and upturned, and fires being started.

The incidents in the Belgian capital, which saw riot police deployed, followed the national football team’s surprise 2-0 loss to Morocco in Group F, a result that puts Roberto Martinez’s side on the brink of an early exit from the competition in Qatar.

This edition of the World Cup is seen as a ‘golden generation’ of players’ final shot at claiming Belgium’s first major trophy, and their Qatar campaign began with a 1-0 win against Canada on Wednesday. Striker Michy Batsuayi scored the only goal of that game after Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved a penalty early on, but Martinez’s side generally played poorly.

They followed that match with another poor performance on Sunday, as Morocco pulled off an upset, with Courtois at fault for the first goal.

It means Belgium go into their final group-stage game, against Croatia, realistically needing a win if they are to reach the knockout stages. Belgium would, however, go through with a draw coupled with a heavy goal-difference swing in the match between Morocco and the already-eliminated Canada.

And Belgium’s loss to Morocco was received poorly by some fans in Brussels, who took to the streets to engage in violent riots, which led to the deployment of riot police.

Photos and video footage show cars and other property being vandalised in the streets of the Belgian capital, with fires also lit in the roads.

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