On the 15th of July, France and Croatia will go head to head in the finals of the 2018 World Cup. This is Croatia first time in the finals of the World Cup and the team has already shattered all expectations, leading many to believe that this football tournament is all about the underdogs. While that may be so, this FIFA is also about the teams that failed to win big but definitely won our hearts.

In the aftermath of the Japan-Colombia match, videos of Japanese fans cleaning up the stadium went viral on social media. In fact, some fans had even brought bin bags with them so that they could ensure they left their part of the stadium as clean as when they had arrived.

 

Scott McIntyre, a football journalist based in Japan, told the BBC that this is part of Japanese culture.“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,” McIntyre said.

 

“The goodwill nature of the Japanese contingent in Russia even spread to the team, who despite being eliminated from the World Cup in the most dramatic of circumstances ensured they cleaned the changing room to perfection and left a note that read “Спасибо” – Russian for thank you,” wrote Jack de Menezes for The Independent.

 

Similarly, post-Senegal’s win against Poland, Senegal fans were seen cleaning up the stadium. “Senegal pulled off a historic victory but instead of partying in the minutes after the end of the game, they tasked themselves with cleaning up their section before leaving. #Respect,” Argentinian TV channel TyC Sports said in a tweet accompanying the video.

(Header credits: The Independent)