Japanese football fans are going viral for staying behind to clean up after the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Monday.
Bahraini YouTuber Omar Al-Farooq highlighted the inspiring moment in his video shared on Twitter and Instagram. In the clip, which has been viewed on Twitter over 2.5 million times, Japanese fans can be seen picking up trash left in the stands by the World Cup crowd at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar. The Japanese fans reportedly chose to stay behind after the match between Qatar and Ecuador. After the crowd left the stadium, the fans started going around and picking up the trash scattered on the floor and placing them inside trash bags they brought themselves.
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When Al-Farooq asks one of the fans, “Why are you doing this?” the woman replies, “We are Japanese, and we do not leave rubbish behind us, and we respect the place.”
Another fan tells Al-Farooq the reason they clean is “not for the cameras.”
Besides common trash, the Good Samaritans also picked up flags left in the stadium by the crowd.
Many social media users applauded the Japanese fans’ dedication to cleaning the stadium even though their team was not playing that day.
“They have respect and install respect in their children. So as we see this year and in previous years, the Japanese people are above others in their actions,” one Instagram user commented. “May we the Arab people learn this level of respect and start cleaning up behind us instead of waiting for a domestic cleaner to do the cleaning.”
“Something I respect so much about Japanese people and their culture,” another user commented.
Japanese World Cup fans also went viral in 2018 after they were spotted doing the same good deeds after their team’s game against Colombia at the FIFA World Cup in Russia, even after losing to Belgium 3–2. The heartwarming viral moment eventually inspired other football fans from other countries to clean up after themselves following their team’s matches.