IT’S BEEN A ROUGH World Cup for Japan. They’ve always been underdogs for this tournament, but they lost their first game against the Ivory Coast, then drew against Greece, and they’re playing Colombia — the best team in their group — today. So it’s probably going to be their last game.
But Japan has two things working for them: First, they have the best nickname, with “Samurai Blue.” And second, they have the most gracious fans in the entire World Cup.
Soccer fans are known for being hooligans and, to put it politely, can be poorly behaved at times. But after their tough lost against the Ivory Coast, Japanese spectators stayed in the stadium and cleaned up their own trash. This isn’t unusual for Japanese fans, as it’s customary for them to do this after all their games, but still, in a tournament that usually consists of about two hours of rowdiness in the stands followed by 24 hours of drunken celebration and/or mourning, this is standout behavior.
Kudos, Japan fans. We wish you better luck in 2018.