Japan is quickly becoming the talk of the 2022 FIFA World Cup – and not just because of their team’s upset win over Germany in the group stage.
Japanese fans have won the respect of both Qatar and the world after fans were seen staying behind after Japan’s dramatic 2-1 win over Germany to clean up the stadium, something that spectators have called the ultimate act of sportsmanship.
Only minutes after securing the win – something that’s already been heralded as one of the greatest World Cup upsets of all time (although Saudi Arabia’s recent 2-1 win over Argentina is also solidly in contention) – Japanese fans were ready with blue plastic bags to pick up rubbish, with the sizeable contingent making short work of the mess.
Japanese fans also stayed behind to clean up after the opening game between Ecuador and Qatar. Pretty impressive considering their side wasn’t even playing.
Japanese football fans have developed a reputation for cleanliness: there were similar scenes of Japanese fans staying back to clean up stands at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, most notably after their 3-2 loss against Belgium in the round of 16.
Japan’s next game is against Costa Rica on Sunday night. Seeing as Costa Rica was annihilated 7-0 by Spain, Japan stands a more than decent chance of beating the small Latin American team and progressing further.