Fifa World Cup: Japanese women proud of fans who cleaned Doha stadium after Germany match

"Qatar is very clean and it’s a beautiful country. Everything looks very perfect here," says Yuki who has travelled from Tokyo to watch the event



(From right) Japanese fans Yuki, Hiroko, Yuko and Kiyoko in Qatar. KT photo by Rituraj Borkakoty
(From right) Japanese fans Yuki, Hiroko, Yuko and Kiyoko in Qatar. KT photo by Rituraj Borkakoty

By Rituraj Borkakoty in Doha

Published: Sun 27 Nov 2022, 2:13 AM

Last updated: Sun 27 Nov 2022, 2:36 AM

A group of Japanese women in their football team colours was taking in the sights and sounds of the magnificent Lusail Metro Station in Qatar when hordes of Saudi Arabian fans passed by them on Saturday.

Unlike those Saudi fans that had to catch the train to the Education City Metro Station to attend their team’s World Cup match against Poland, these Japanese women were in no particularly hurry to go anywhere.

It seemed they could wait even if they missed the next train as they gingerly moved around, smiling at the metro staff.

These women had time on their hands as their team, the Samurai Blue, were not in action on Saturday.

And they are incredibly proud of their team who beat four-time world champions Germany in their opening game.

But these ladies are even prouder of their fans who stayed back after Japan’s historic win over Germany to clean the stands at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Those images have now gone viral, earning widespread praise in global media.

Yuki, a member of the four-member group that has travelled from Tokyo for the Qatar World Cup, says these fans are a symbol of Japanese pride.

“Yes, we feel very happy and proud. These fans are setting a great example. They have made us very proud,” Yuki told his reporter.

“I think these fans are simply following our culture. You know, in Japan we want to keep everything clean and organized.

“If you are clean and organized, there are less chances of you getting any diseases. So that’s in our culture, we have to keep everything clean for our health.”

Japanese fans charmed the world with their act of cleanliness when they cleared the litter at the Khalifa International Stadium following their team's victory over Germany. Photo: Twitter
Japanese fans charmed the world with their act of cleanliness when they cleared the litter at the Khalifa International Stadium following their team's victory over Germany. Photo: Twitter

Yuki and her friends have also been hugely impressed by the impeccably clean Qatar.

“Yes, Qatar is very clean and it’s a beautiful country. Everything looks very perfect here,” said Yuki who runs a sportswear shop in Tokyo.

The compactness of the tournament in Qatar has made it a very smooth football-watching experience for fans, according to Yuki.

“We have seen very good organization in this tournament, the transport system is very good. It has made it very easy and smooth for all the fans,” she said.

“It’s been very convenient for the fans to watch matches. You can actually watch two matches in a day if you want to, it’s possible here. It was never possible in the other World Cups in the past.”

So when did they plan to travel to Qatar for the World Cup?

“Almost six months ago when we came to know that tickets had gone on sale on the Fifa website,” she said.

Japanese fans help clean up the Khalifa International stadium in Qatar following their team's 2-1 victory over Germany. Photo: Twitter
Japanese fans help clean up the Khalifa International stadium in Qatar following their team's 2-1 victory over Germany. Photo: Twitter

“But it wasn’t easy because we needed to get tickets and the Hayya Card. It was difficult, you know. But eventually we got them.”

Yuki say they can’t still get over the stirring Japanese fightback against Germany in the first match which they won 2-1 with two late second half goals.

“Yes it was so exciting for us. We have so much respect for Germany because they are such a big football team. Their football is so perfect. We admire them so much. But now have beaten them,” she said before making a bold prediction.

“I think our team can reach the quarterfinals. We have never gone to the quarterfinals in a World Cup before. So if our team can go that far this time, it will be a historic moment for us.”

Finally, Yuki hoped Japan would host the World Cup again.

“Yes, it was a very proud moment when we hosted the World Cup (in 2002). We shared it with South Korea,” she said.

“Hopefully, we will host it again. But we don’t want to share it with another country again. We want only Japan!”


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