World Cup riots on Moluccan island

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Police on Ambon, one of the Moluccan Islands in Indonesia, are at full alert following disturbances that broke out after the defeat of the Netherlands by Spain in the final of Sunday’s FIFA World Cup.

The disturbances began shortly after the match commenced, when Spanish and Dutch supporters threw stones at each other in the Batu Gantung neighbourhood. After the game, which ended in victory for Spain, disappointed Dutch supporters started fights with Spanish fans. These developed into riots in which 11 shops and a car were destroyed. Nobody was injured. The governor of Ambon has called on everyone to stay calm.

Throughout the 2010 championship, Ambon was drenched in orange decorations, with Dutch flags flying at many locations. Although the support for the Netherlands has an historic background – the Dutch governed the islands for centuries - family ties also play a role: Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the Dutch team captain, has Moluccan blood.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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