Heavy riots at the Kiel in Antwerp

The football game between Beerschot Wilrijk and RFC de Liège ended in heavy riots in the city of Antwerp last night. "We have never seen anything like this at a third-division match", Antwerp police said. Almost 50 hooligans were apprehended.

Beerschot are a club with a long tradition in Belgian football. However, the team went bankrupt some years ago and had to merge with neighbours Wilrijk in 2013 to survive. The new team that was created, started in the provincial division, but are climbing the ladder towards the top again and are now already playing in the national division. In fact, while they are only playing in 3rd division at present, they boast the fan club of an average Belgian top flight team.

Beerschot Wilrijk mostly have Beerschot fans and play in the Olympic stadium in the Antwerp Kiel district, the historic grounds that have always the home of Beerschot. Some of the Beerschot fans have a bad reputation and caused problems last night, in the game against Liège in 3rd division (which equals the English 2nd division).

Beerschot hooligans were provoking Liège fans even before the match. 45 of them were arrested by police. Things went wrong after the game (which Beerschot won 1-0) when visitors from Liège started riots. Liège fans hurled empty bottles, fireworks and other objects at police, which eventually managed to push them back towards their buses. Only one Liège hooligan was apprehended, but police are hoping to identify more assailants by watching TV footage. Antwerp police said this type of riots has never been seen in a third division match.