After Japan fans celebrated Japan's shocking win over four-time champion Germany in Wednesday's FIFA World Cup match, they ended up leaving everyone around the world impressed. The responsible fans of 'Blue Samurai' helped authorities pick up trash at the Khalifa International stadium after the match concluded, winning hearts and imparting an important lesson to everyone.
Post-Match Ritual For Fans
Post the match, as the audience was leaving the stadium, Japanese fans were seen gearing up to clean the facility. They pulled out disposable trash bags and started picking up the heaps of trash that were left behind by the crowd. While the spectacle of onlookers sticking around to clean up may surprise some people, it is not unusual for the Japanese.
It is now a ritual for the fans of Samurai Blue to clean up football stadiums; even a defeat does not stop them from carrying out this crucial post-game duty. An example is the 2018 World Cup match held in Russia between Belgium and Japan. Belgium defeated Japan after scoring an injury-time goal, leaving several Japan fans sad. Regardless, once the match was concluded, the fans pulled out the disposable garbage bags and got to work.
Speaking to Al Jazeera ahead of the game against Germany, one such volunteer, Saysuka, said that while they are aware of people noticing their custom, she wants to clarify the fans are not doing it for attention. She then opened her backpack to reveal a set of trash bags she would use throughout the game and then give to others. "Cleanliness and tidiness is like religion to us in Japan, and we value it", she remarked.
Several videos and pictures of the responsible fans cleaning the stadium have been doing rounds on social media platforms. One such video was shared by FIFA World Cup's official Twitter handle saying, "Tidying up after one of their greatest #FIFAWorldCup wins. Huge respect to these Japanese fans."
Iconic Victory Against Germany
The penalty by Germany's Ilkay Guendogan gave them a hopeful lead in the first half; however, Japan's Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano delivered the pivotal blow in the last 15 minutes to present their team with a surprise 2-1 victory. Despite playing against each other twice in international friendlies before Wednesday's World Cup match, it was Japan's first-ever triumph against Germany.
After being defeated in the 2018 World Cup by Mexico when they were ousted in the first round as champions - their earliest elimination in more than 80 years - and by France at Euro 2020, the defeat against Japan was Germany's third consecutive one in the opening game of a major international championship.
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