The football casuals deny that they are extremist people belonging to far-right groups. They claim they were spat at and dared by other protesters who wrongly called them fascists.
"We are not members of far-right clubs and had agreed we would not shout anti-Islam slogans. Our group included people from all political ideologies, for example also Walloon left-wing football fans", says Rik, one of the spokespersons. "We just wanted to express our abhorrence towards IS."
The football casuals ignored a clear ban on protest marches: "Yes, we turned up despite a ban. But that's only logical: cancelling a march against fear out of... fear. What kind of a signal would this have been?" There was no clear explanation for their explicit, aggressive behaviour and the riots.