Videos on social media have gone viral of the team’s fans scouring the stadium for trash after their victory against Poland.
Senegal Fans Praised For Stadium Clean-Up After WC Match
Instead of celebrating their team’s 2-1 victory over Poland in their World Cup opener on Tuesday after the match ended, Senegal fans busied themselves by methodically cleaning up after themselves as the stadium emptied.
Videos of the fans have since gone viral, with millions of people around the world having viewed them scouring the stands for rubbish.
One video, posted by an Argentinian TV channel, TyC Sports, had more than five million views within hours of uploading the clip.
“Senegal pulled off a historic victory,” the channel said. “But instead of partying in the minutes after the end of the game, they tasked themselves with cleaning up their section before leaving. #Respect.”
By beating Poland, albeit in somewhat controversial circumstances, Senegal saved not just their country’s but their continent’s blushes, the Independent reported.
The 2-1 victory was the first and only African win in the first round of matches, after Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia all lost their opening games.
A few hours after Senegal's win, Egypt then also lost its second match, 3-1 against Russia.
Tuesday’s win for Senegal now gives them a chance of progressing from Group H, as underdogs, with Japan also winning against group favourites Colombia. Things are not looking so good for the other African nations at the tournament.
The Independent quoted Senegal’s goal scorer Mbaye Niang as saying: “We know Africa supports us.”
“If we can make all the other African nations proud, that is twice as glorious. We’re thinking of our journey, trying to write our own story but if we can inspire the others, that's a greater honor for us," he said.
Senegal’s fans were not the only ones winning praise on social media for their sense of social responsibility.
Images from the aftermath of the Japan-Colombia match showed Japanese fans, some armed with plastic bin bags they had brought along with them, similarly clearing their portion of the stadium.
Japan-based football journalist Scott McIntyre told the BBC it was something that happens regularly at matches in Japan, and that it stems from habits drilled into people there from a young age.
“It's not just part of the football culture but part of Japanese culture,” McIntyre said. “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.”