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22nd Nov 2022

Japanese fans stun Qatar crowds by cleaning up World Cup stadium

Steve Hopkins

‘We are Japanese, and we do not leave rubbish behind us, and we respect the place’

Japanese football fans have stunned crowds in Qatar by cleaning up a World Cup stadium in a game their country wasn’t even playing.

At the tournament’s opening fixture between the host nation and Ecuador on Sunday, fans dressed in their national colours stayed behind to pick up bottles and food wrapping left in the stands.

Qatar lost the match 2-0, failing to muster a shot on target in the entire contest to become the first host side in the tournament’s history to lose their opening game. Qatar now face a battle to get out of Group A and still have to face The Netherlands and Senegal in their remaining fixtures.

Japan has gained a reputation for similar goodwill gestures at previous international tournaments and this time it didn’t go unnoticed either.

Footage of the clean-up crew shows them going row to row picking up discarded food and drink contains and placing them into plastic bags.

The video was taken by influencer Omar Al-Farooq from Bahrain who shared it on Instagram.

In the footage, Omar is heard asking the group: “Why are you doing this?”

One of the volunteer cleaners replies: “We are Japanese, and we do not leave rubbish behind us, and we respect the place.”

The supporters also picked up flags which had been thrown by the Qatari and Ecuadorian fans, saying the symbols “command respect”.

Japan football fans won over crowds at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, by also cleaning up the stadium.

Despite a 3-2 knockout loss to Belgium, the ‘Samurai Blue’ supporters sifted through the aisles of the Rostov Arena to pick up discarded litter.

Supporters were seen crying as they hauled enormous rubbish bags around the stadium, MailOnline reported.

Pictures from the stadium show fans in fancy dress and their national team’s kit picking up rubbish after other fans had headed for the exit.

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