Riots broke out in Lyon on Wednesday evening after Morocco was defeated by France in the semi-finals of the World Cup.
There is a history of animosity between the French and Moroccans due to more than four decades of French colonial dominance of the North African country from 1912 until its independence in 1956.
Its colonial past is seen as one of the reasons why Morocco has a huge diaspora in France. Compared to the North African country’s nearly 38 million inhabitants, about five million Moroccans have made France their home. As of 2019, they made up France’s second-largest immigrant population from outside the European Union, about 18.4 percent of the total figure.
🚨#BREAK Riots break out after France win tonight’s game
Riots break out after France’s World Cup win as they clash between French and Moroccan supporters over France’s victory pic.twitter.com/PWFst4ktxT
— RAWSGL 🌎 BALL (@RawsGlobal) December 14, 2022
“Gérald Darmanin, your strong and determined action is urgent. I condemn with the utmost severity the rampant violence of the extreme right in the streets of Lyon. My support to all those affected or witnesses,” EELV MP Mari-Charlotte Garin tweeted. Darmanin is the Minister of the Interior.
Former mayor of the region, Thomas Rudigoz, also condemned the riots as follows: “Once again, small groups of the far right are involved in violent abuses that recall the worst hours of the far right in France. Our response must be implacable, these neo-fascists must be arrested, severely condemned and their movements must be disbanded.”
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Also last week there were riots on the Champs Élysées in Paris when the celebrations of the fans of Morocco and France turned ugly and the French police had to use tear gas. French far-right politician Eric Zemmour, an ex-candidate for the French presidency, had said in an interview on BFM TV at the time: “I find it strange that there are more people who should be French celebrating Morocco’s victory. on the day France wins. You can’t be one or the other.”