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Morocco: More than 80 people arrested over violence

Morocco: More than 80 people arrested over violence
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FADEL SENNA/AFP and Licensors


More than 80 people, including 56 minors, were arrested after violence between groups of supporters during a Moroccan Football Cup match in Agadir (south), local media reported Monday, a week after similar clashes in Rabat.

The 84 suspects are suspected of "committing violence, possession of bladed weapons, drunkenness on the public highway and causing material damage to public property," the Goud news site said.

They were arrested following a Throne Cup match on Sunday between Hassania of Agadir (HUSA) and FUS of Rabat, which won three goals to one at the Grand Stade of Agadir. Seven members of the police force were injured during the fights, the Arabic-language site said.

In Rabat, a week earlier, another cup match was marred by unprecedented violence that led to the arrest of 70 fans, including 18 minors, according to the prosecutor's office. Some 18 defendants (including eight minors) have been detained and are being prosecuted for, among other charges, "participation in acts of violence" and "damage to public property", the same source said.

In addition, the Public Prosecutor's Office has decided to open an investigation into 42 suspects, also in detention and accused of serious charges such as "forming a criminal gang, sabotaging equipment by means of force, robbery and attempted rape". Finally, another investigation is also underway against 10 minors for the same charges.

For years, Moroccan stadiums have been the scene of violence between groups of supporters. Clashes between the ultras of the two major Casablanca clubs, Wydad and Raja, are frequent, including outside the stadiums.

After the death of two supporters in early 2016, the authorities disbanded ultras groups to fight hooliganism, even banning all distinctive signs (slogans and banners) in the stadiums. However, the authorities have allowed ultras to be present again since March 2018.

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