160 people arrested for rioting after soccer match in Morocco

Police arrested 160 people suspected of involvement in riots that followed a soccer match Sunday in Rabat, which left security forces and fans injured, the General Directorate of National Security said in a statement.

The riots broke out when the fans of the Royal Army Club of the capital stormed the floor of the Prince Moulay Abdallah stadium after the end of a match in the round of 16 of the Throne Cup competitions, which ended with the defeat of its team (0-2) against Maghreb Fez, and entered into “confrontations” with the supporters of the visiting team, according to the media. Local media.

Videos on Facebook showed fans throwing security forces from the stands, before attacking them and storming the pitch.

The police said that “the security operations they initiated (…) resulted in the arrest of 160 people, including 90 minors.”

The detainees are suspected of “committing sports-related riots, possession of knives, open drunkenness, throwing stones (…) and deliberately setting fire to a vehicle.”

These acts of violence also resulted in the injury of 103 members of the security forces and 57 fans, with injuries of varying severity, who were taken to hospitals or treated at the scene, according to the same source.

Also, a lot of the stadium facilities were damaged and a motorcycle was “set on fire, 33 vehicles were damaged and broken” by the police or private property.

The police statement on Sunday night indicated that the review of all surveillance cameras was continuing, to identify “everyone who was proven to be involved in the violence and riots that followed this match.”

These events are the first of their kind since fans returned at the end of February to the football stadiums, which had been closed for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Similar incidents have occurred in Moroccan stadiums in recent years. Local media also report from time to time about incidents outside stadiums in the neighborhoods of Casablanca, between fans of the city’s two rival clubs, Raja and Wydad.

The deadliest of these incidents resulted in the deaths of fans in March 2016. Since then, the authorities have been very resolute in combating the scourge of riots.

Subsequently, it decided to dissolve groups of “terras” (groups of fans) in order to reduce the riots, and to ban any special slogans or banners in stadiums, before allowing them to return in.


Arab Observer

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