Japanese fans who watched their national team be defeated by the Ivory Coast in the Fifa World Cup on Saturday showed it is possible to lose graciously, when they stayed behind after the match to help clean up.
Despite seeing the Blue Samurais lose 2-1 against Didier Drogba's team at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Japanese spectators armed with bin liners patrolled their side of the stadium and gathered up discarded litter, Yahoo Sport reported.
While gathering waste after a sporting event is customary in Japan, the spectators’ actions came as a shock to football fans from other countries.
“What a good gesture from Japan,” wrote Twitter user Blas Piguera III, while people of Japanese origin expressed how proud they were of the custom.
Following their wrenching defeat against Ivory Coast, the Blue Samurais are currently 3rd in Group C, and must defeat Greece and Colombia in their remaining group matches to make it past the knockout stages. Many regard the Japanese to be the strongest team from the Asian continent in the World Cup finals.
Japan and South Korea jointly hosted the World Cup finals in 2002, the first time the tournament was held in Asia. At the last World Cup in 2010 in South Africa, Japan made it through their group only to be knocked out by Paraguay in the last 16.
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