The Japanese fans who gathered to watch their team's FIFA World Cup 2018 match against Colombia on Tuesday are being lauded across the world for their beautiful and commendable gesture. (FIFA 2018 WC: FULL COVERAGE)
Japan on Tuesday did what no other Asian team had ever done at a World Cup - beat a South American squad on the biggest stage in soccer.
The 2-1 victory over Colombia was another surprising result in an unpredictable tournament. (Also Read: Japan beat Colombia in historic Asian victory)
The Japanese fans who flocked the Mordovia Arena in Saransk had all the reasons to go wild on Tuesday night just like most of the passionate fans of other countries who have come to Russia to support their respective teams.
In most of the matches, it has been witnessed that the fans leave the stands in poor state, litttered with food waste, cups and wrappers.
However, the Japanese fans gave an example of their good manners when they cleaned up the stands before leaving the stadium.
This is my favourite moment of the World Cup so far; Japan fans picking up litter after their victory vs Columbia. The lessons in life we can take from the game. Why I support 🇯🇵 #class✅#respect✅#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/FyYLhAGDbi— Christopher McKaig (@Coachmckaig) June 19, 2018
"It's not just part of the football culture but part of Japanese culture," Japan-based football journalist Scott McIntyre told the BBC.
"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," he added.
Japan became the latest team to pull off an upset at the World Cup, joining Mexico, Switzerland and Iceland in earning unexpected results. The win was a surprise also because Japan changed coaches shortly before the tournament, and because Asian teams had failed to beat South American opposition in 17 previous World Cup meetings.
Japan will next face Senegal on Sunday in Yekaterinburg, while Colombia takes on Poland in Kazan on the same day.
Meanwhile, a Japanese princess was also seen supporting her nation's team at the World Cup, becoming the first member of Japan's royal family to visit Russia in more than a century.
Princess Hisako of Takamada appeared Tuesday at Mordovia Arena in Saransk, where Japan beat Colombia 2-1, and waved to spectators. Her visit is the first such trip by a Japanese royal since 1916.