Following the victory of the Moroccan football team against Belgium at the World Cup, groups of young migrant men have taken to the streets in Belgium and the Netherlands to celebrate their victory. Already prior to the match, the atmosphere was heated—illegal fireworks were launched, some of which injured a journalist in the face. But the celebrations following the surprise victory quickly turned into riots, when shops, cars, and even policemen were attacked by the mob.
The rioting migrants, mostly Belgian Moroccans, but also other migrants from Africa, left behind a trail of destruction, demolishing entire streets in Brussels, flipping over cars, and starting fires. The police called on citizens to avoid certain parts of Brussels and closed off metro stations before engaging the mob with riot police. Videos of the riots, which more resembled a civil war than the celebration of a football game, spread on Twitter like wildfire.
Politicians of the European Right were quick to call out and condemn the riots. Matteo Salvini wrote on Twitter that “it is one thing to celebrate, but another to rape an entire district.” Former French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour shared the video of a Moroccan supporter climbing a balcony and pulling down a Belgian flag in front of a jubilant crowd of migrants, and exclaimed: “What a symbol!”
The riots, however, were not just limited to Brussels. A crowd of about 50 people besieged a police station in Liège before smashing its windows and damaging two police cars. But the riots extended past the borders of Belgium. Young Moroccan migrants also ‘celebrated’ in the Dutch cities of Den Haag, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam.
In Amsterdam in particular, riots at Mercatorplein in Amsterdam West went unchecked for hours, with police barely daring to enter the area, a situation reminiscent of the annual violent celebrations in migrant-heavy areas in Dutch cities on New Year’s eve.
However, left-wing media in Europe, like the German magazine Stern and the British Independent, once again tried to reframe the events as an expression of disappointment of Belgian fans over the loss. But given the countless videos documenting the violence, controlling the narrative becomes increasingly difficult for the Left. Both publications have since changed their headlines.
Meanwhile, celebrations in Morocco, as confirmed by other video footage shared on Twitter, appear to have been peaceful and purely celebratory.