RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Moroccan soccer hooligans rampaged through Casablanca, mugging pedestrians and smashing up carriages of the city’s new tram system, cars and public buses. Nearly 200 people were arrested, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
Fans from Rabat’s Armed Forces Club paraded through Casablanca before Thursday’s match with local club Raja and attacked people and property. The ministry report did not mention injured.
Police said Friday that 193 people were charged with vandalism and the destruction included eight tram carriages, seven public buses and 13 cars. People described on national television being attacked in the streets and mugged by the fans as well.
An inquiry has been launched to discover why more security forces weren’t present.
There is a fierce rivalry between Moroccan soccer clubs featuring fan groups known as “ultras,” and there have been outbreaks of violence outside games in the past. Before the match, fans from Rabat posted videos online promising to “Occupy Casablanca.”
Two people died during soccer fan violence in 2012.
“The violence around the stadiums has grown in the last few years, which is why the penal code was amended in 2010 to include measures targeting hooliganism during sports events,” Radio Mars sports journalist Hicham Ramram said.