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Japan fans stay behind to clean up World Cup stadium

Jake Massey

Published 
| Last updated 

Japan fans stay behind to clean up World Cup stadium

Japan supporters have won the admiration of football fans after staying behind at a World Cup match to clean up the rubbish.

We're only two games into the tournament in Qatar, and if you've been paying any kind of attention, you'll be aware that Japan haven't played yet.

The nation doesn't actually kick off its campaign until Sunday, when they play Costa Rica, but Japan fans were out in force at the tournament's opening game between host nation Qatar and Ecuador yesterday (Sunday 20 November).

It was a comfortable 2-0 victory for the visitors, and after the match, Japanese spectators stayed behind to ensure that stand had been cleared of litter.

Japan fans have won the respect of the football world once again. Credit: Instagram/@omr94
Japan fans have won the respect of the football world once again. Credit: Instagram/@omr94

The clean-up operation was witnessed by influencer Omar Farooq, who captured footage showing the fans donning Japanese football shirts, flags and costumes as they filled bags with rubbish that had been left behind by other supporters.

Omar said: "Someone convince me that this is normal. The Japanese fans decided to clean the stadium. It's not even their match!

"When I asked them, 'Why are you cleaning something not related to you?', the answer was, 'Japanese never leave rubbish behind us. We respect the place.'

"This is a thing I heard about, but I never thought it was this real. Wow. All respect."

Japan fans have a history of clearing up after matches. Credit: Instagram/@omr94
Japan fans have a history of clearing up after matches. Credit: Instagram/@omr94

Indeed, this cleanliness reflects Japanese culture more broadly.

"It's not just part of the football culture but part of Japanese culture," Japan-based football journalist Scott McIntyre told the BBC in 2018.

"You often hear people say that football is a reflection of culture. An important aspect of Japanese society is making sure that everything is absolutely clean and that's the case in all sporting events and certainly also in football."

Japan fans have history when it comes to tidying rubbish at stadiums in international football.

Back in 2018, after a heartbreaking defeat in the final seconds of their World Cup last 16 clash against Belgium, they earned the respect of millions when they cleared up the Rostov Arena.

And a year later, they showed their class again after a section of supporters picked up rubbish at Roazhon Park following their side's 2-1 victory over Scotland in Group D of the Women's World Cup.

No doubt we can expect to see scores of England fans armed with bin bags and litter pickers ready to clean the s**t out of the stands after the Croatia vs Canada match or something.

Either that or getting thrown in jail for drinking in the streets and shoving flares up their arses. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram / @omr94

Topics: Football, World Cup, Sport

Jake Massey
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