A friendship match between the Dutch and Moroccan youth groups in Tilburg degenerated into a battlefield when Moroccan fans ran into the field and destroyed the stadium. The stadium was filled with Moroccans who had come to watch the game and the Moroccan youth team was almost playing a home game. Already during the match several Moroccan supporters ran into the field. After the match hundreds of fans ran in, threw chairs and pulled down the goals and announcement board.
YouTube has many films showing the Tilburg match. For example these two showing the beginning of the match and the way the Dutch anthem was received and the end of the match with the fans running into the field.
Twenty six people were arrested between the ages of 17 and 39. According to the KNVB (Royal Netherlands Football Association), they are facing a six year stadium ban.
Tilburg mayor Ruud Vreeman received flowers from Moroccans who were present at the match. Flowers were also offered at the stadium.
Members of the Moroccan Foundation in Tilburg (Marokkaanse Stichting Tilburg, MAST) say they are embarrassed by what happened. "We feel deeply ashamed" a spokesperson said. "In the sports arena Morocco won, but by everything else that happened, Morocco has lost big."
The spokesperson of MAST was present at the match and said he did not see anybody of the Moroccan community on the field. According to him it was many people who had come from out of town. The foundation had bought 100 tickets for the supporters. "We had gone to the match with a hundred people and afterwards we went neatly back home."
Mohammad Allach, technical manager of the VVV team from Venlo and president of the Maroqui Stars association says the riots were a social protest. "It was a political statement, a collective expression of discontent."
The Samenwerkingsverband van Marokkanen in Nederland (Colloboration of Moroccans in the Netherlands) explains it similarly.
Allach point out that the booing took place during the Dutch anthem and a Moroccan in Dutch uniform was hissed at . He says he is not surprised that groups who feel left out of society bring about specific excesses.
The Party for Freedom demands that in the next five years no Moroccans will be allowed into stadiums where Moroccan teams are playing. If there will be no such ban, they ask that matches against Moroccan teams be banned for the next five years.
The party also asked for explanations from the Minister of Internal Affairs and Justice. The party wants to know why after earlier disorderly conduct in Utrech, Arnhem, Kerkrade and Amsterdam by Moroccan supporters, the police was not out in full force to make sure the match in Tilburg went smoothly.
According to Henk Groenevelt of the Central Information Point for Football Vandalism (Centraal Informatiepunt Voetbalvandalisme,CIV) the disorderly conduct should have been expected, but that things got so out of hand came completely out of the blue.
He points out that Moroccan fans generally react more exuberantly in the stand. "And if they get the opportunity, they run in their enthusiasm into the field. We aren't accustomed to that. You must be a bit more ready for it." He continues to say that he will not accept the violence and destruction, from any fan group.
He supposes the authorities did not expect what happened. An earlier match between AZ and Ajax was heavily guarded to make sure the fans won't get near each other, but this was a friendship match between youth groups. Everybody couldn't understand why the police let the Moroccans calm down on their own, but he says that sending in the riot police might have caused the situation to escalate even more.
Source: De Stentor (Dutch), MSN (Dutch), DVHN (Dutch), Parool (Dutch), Volkskrant (Dutch)