14-year-old dies at fan party in Montpellier – riots in France and Belgium
Riots broke out in Belgium and France after Morocco lost in the World Cup semifinals. A 14-year-old died in Montpellier, southern France. Around 100 arrests were made in Brussels alone.
In Montpellier, southern France, a 14-year-old boy was hit by a car and fatally injured on the sidelines of a fan celebration after France’s victory over Morocco in the semi-finals of the World Cup. As the prefecture in Montpellier announced, the car hit the young person with full force on Wednesday evening. The driver fled. The boy was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he died. The car was found abandoned near the scene of the accident and confiscated.
Videos on social networks indicate that a driver’s flag was torn off from a group of young people. He then turned the car, accelerated and caught one of the young people.
There had been riots between Morocco fans and France fans in Montpellier. According to media reports, the groups threw fireworks at each other.
Clashes broke out between Morocco fans and the police in the Belgian capital, Brussels. Fireworks were set off in the direction of the police, who then used water cannon and pepper spray, the Belgian news agency Belga said on Wednesday evening.
The police arrested around 100 people for disturbing public order, damaging two police vehicles and possessing prohibited fireworks, as the Belga news agency reported on Thursday night, citing the police.
Traffic in parts of the city center was blocked as a precaution. There were also clashes in Antwerp. Several people were also arrested here.
Numerous police officers in riot gear and burning piles of rubbish could be seen in pictures from the Belgian capital from the night.
In several French cities, the fan celebrations get out of hand late on Wednesday evening. Although the vast majority peacefully celebrated the 2-0 win over Morocco in the semifinals, rioters and police officers briefly clashed on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
In the meantime, there was also talk of a tense situation in Lyon. As the newspaper “Nice-Matin” reported, there were also conflicts between fans and the police in Nice and Cannes. For the most part, however, the situation calmed down again, and there was no talk of arrests or major property damage.
Fireworks in Berlin-Neukölln
In the German capital Berlin, the mood remained calm overall, most people went home quickly after the game, a police spokesman said on Wednesday evening. They had been prepared for a larger effort – especially in the event of a victory for the Moroccan team. In the Berlin-Neukölln district, fans set off fireworks.
After Morocco’s defeat, the streets of North Rhine-Westphalia remained relatively quiet compared to previous games. “There was a lot less influx than after the last game on Saturday,” said a spokesman for the Düsseldorf police.
A few hundred Morocco fans gathered in the Ellerstraße area after the game, as reported by a dpa photographer. There were isolated firecrackers, the police spokesman said. Some people would have ignited pyrotechnics.
Overall, however, everything remained peaceful in the state capital. The Düsseldorf police had previously prepared a larger contingent for the semifinals. However, the operational measures were already ended around 11 p.m. and the road was reopened to traffic.
Instead of extensive streets, there was a clean-up action in Düsseldorf around 11:30 p.m. The Düsseldorf-Marrakesh association called for this on Tuesday. First, the “Rheinische Post” reported on the campaign.
It was also quieter on the streets in other NRW cities. There were no special incidents in Cologne and Duisburg, spokesmen said. The Bonn police also lifted all traffic blocks shortly after the end of the game on Wednesday evening.