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FIFA 2022: Moroccon fans go on rampage as France celebrates victory in FIFA semi-finals, 14-year-old part of group attempting to bring down French flag dead

As the French fans celebrated the victory, more Moroccan fans gathered on the streets to disrupt the celebrations.

On December 14, France defeated Morocco in the semi-finals 2-0 and booked its place in the finals against Argentina in FIFA 2022. Moroccan fans got irked by the defeat, and riots broke down in France and other European cities. Reports suggest that a 14-year-old boy was killed in the riots. He was part of the Moroccan group that attempted to take away a French flag from a car. The group also pounded on the car’s hood. Scared by the attack, the driver reversed the car a bit and took a sharp turn backwards crushing the boy. The injured boy was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In a statement, the Prefect of Hérault Hugues Moutouh said, “A young boy was hit on Wednesday evening in Montpellier by a driver after the semi-final match of the FIFA World Cup. He was rushed to the hospital where he died shortly after his medical treatment started. My thoughts go out to his family and loved ones. The vehicle has been found by the police and the investigation is progressing rapidly as per the prosecution’s direction.

In Wednesday’s game, goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani made it impossible for Morocco to make a comeback. Now Morocco will defend the trophy at Lusial Stadium that they won in Russia four years ago.

As per reports, after France won the game, its supporters took to the streets to celebrate. However, Moroccans living in the area got irked, and both sides clashed. Notably, Frace is a former colonial ruler of Morocco. There is a large population of people of Moroccan origin living in the country. As per the statistics, around a million Moroccans live in France, concentrated across the Mediterranean coast and in Paris.

With such a substantial population, any riot-like situation involving Moroccans can become a serious issue for law enforcement agencies. This was exactly what happened following the semi-finals. As per reports and viral videos on social media platforms, Place de La Comedie saw violent clashes among the fans. In the videos shared by Midi Libre Montpellier on Twitter, groups of fans threw fireworks and flares at each other. The police intervened and used tear gas to disperse the crowd on both sides.

In Paris, the police reach Champs-Elysees to disperse the crowd. Reports and videos showed clashes between the fans from both sides. France deployed around 10,000 security personnel across the country, out of which 5,000 have been deployed in Paris itself. In a statement, the interior minister of France, Gerald Darmanin, said, “Our Moroccan friends, just like the French supporters, are welcome to organise a party, and our job is not to stop them from partying… but this will have to be done under good security conditions.”

Freelance journalist Sotiri Dimpinoudis shared a number of videos on Twitter. In a tweet, he reported that 2,500 police personnel were deployed at Champs-Elysees to control the situation.

There were clashes reported in Brussels, Belgium. The Belgian police clashed with Moroccan fans following the loss in the semi-finals. He shared a video from Champs-Elysees where the fans clashed.

As per the visuals available on social media, Moroccan fans pelted stones and fireworks at a flat with a French flag on the balcony. The resident of the flat had to remove the flag following the threats of vandalism.

As the French fans celebrated the victory, more Moroccan fans gathered on the streets to disrupt the celebrations.

Checkpoints have been established in different parts of the country to keep a check on the use of smoke bombs and flares. Notably, Moroccan fans created a riot-like situation on December 10 as well when the Moroccan team defeated Portugal and entered the semi-finals. The police set up checkpoints following the violent celebrations to ensure the safety of the residents; however, Moroccan fans did not take the defeat in the semi-finals with sportsman spirit and again created a ruckus.

Speaking to French CNews, Parisian district mayor Jeanne d’Hauteserre expressed concerns about Champs-Elysees turning into a battlefield. He said, “When you want to celebrate victory, you don’t come with mortars. But these people are really only coming to smash with iron bars. For Wednesday, everyone is afraid of a war, a guerrilla war, a civil war, and we do not want the Champs-Elysees to be transformed into a battlefield.”

The city of Nice also saw violent clashes. Similarly, Lyon faced a riot-like situation, and local media reported police had to use teargas to disperse the crowd that was pelting stones.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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