After sitting alongside tens of thousands of fellow supporters in a large stadium to watch a World Cup football match in a hot and steamy Russia, you would have thought the last thing on fans’ minds would be to do a spot of cleaning. But that is precisely what Japanese supporters did after watching their team overcome Columbia. Using bin bags they had brought with them to the game, footage shows the fans patrolling the rows of seats to pick up rubbish after their team had left the pitch. The clean-up did not come as a surprise to Japan-based football journalist Scott McIntyre who told the BBC: “It’s not just part of the football culture but part of Japanese 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.” Scott North, professor of sociology at Osaka University agrees: “Cleaning up after football matches is an extension of basic behaviours that are taught in school, where the children clean their school classrooms and hallways. With constant reminders throughout childhood, these behaviours become habits for much of the population. In addition to their heightened consciousness of the need to be clean and to recycle, cleaning up at events like the World Cup is a way Japanese fans demonstrate pride in their way of life and share it with the rest of us,” explains Prof North. “What better place to make a statement about the need to care responsibly for the planet than the World Cup?” If there was a World Cup for supporters, the Japanese superfans would surely clean up.