Japan enjoyed one of the most momentous days in their footballing history at the 2022 World Cup as they opened their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Germany.
Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty had put the Germans ahead in the first half, but the favourites failed to make their chances pay and later had a Kai Havertz effort rightfully disallowed for offside.
A couple of key substitutions turned the game in Japan’s favour as substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored within eight second-half minutes to turn the game upside down and provide another shock just a day after Argentina were downed by Saudi Arabia.
While Japan fans rightfully enjoyed their moment in the sun, the attention of the group of fans at the Khalifa International Stadium soon turned to their surroundings.
The country has gained a reputation at international tournaments for the goodwill of supporters over the years, with Samurai Blue fans regularly spotted cleaning up stadiums before departing the ground. That’s exactly what happened after the 2-1 win.
Social media users were quick to highlight the efforts of the Japanese fans, who stuck around to help officials pack away all the litter.
There is an increased need in the modern age for greater environmental action and awareness due to the ever-growing threat of climate change, with FIFA stating they believed the Qatar World Cup would be the first carbon-neutral tournament of its kind.
That claim, however, has been described as dangerous by environmentalists, with many pointing out how Qatar’s infrastructure for the World Cup has been specifically built for the event.