Japan hailed as ‘winners on and off the pitch’ after admirable move by World Cup fans

Japanese fans impressed after they were seen tidying up Qatar’s main stadium after the team’s first World Cup game on Wednesday.

Not only did their side win the Group E match against Germany 2-1 in a surprise turn of events, but the fans went the extra mile not to celebrate to make sure they respected the venue.

Yes, that’s right – despite the game’s huge success, manners came first for the fan base.

Almost as soon as the game was over and the players left the pitch, fans of Samurai Blue (as the team is affectionately known) circled the seats at Khalifa International Stadium to make sure they were in good condition.

It’s a pretty stark contrast to the usual stadiums in the state, with food wrappers and drinking cups strewn everywhere. And the festivities didn’t really seem to begin until the place was clean and tidy.

Footballers were no different – a photo shared by Channel 5 presenter Dan Walker revealed the Japanese side even left their dressing room completely spotless after the game. Fans were equally tidy at the World Cup in Russia in 2018, even after a 3-2 loss to Belgium.

The fans also showed a win in exemplary fashion in the 2022 tournament opener between Qatar and Ecuador on Sunday too, despite their own team not being involved.

Osaka University sociology professor Scott North told the BBC in 2018: “Cleaning up after football matches is an extension of the basic behaviors that are taught in school, where children clean up their classrooms and hallways.”

Amid a World Cup overshadowed by controversy, those efforts seemed to delight netizens.


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