On Tuesday June 19, 2018, all soccer fans were surprised: Japan overwhelmingly defeated a Colombian team that was clear favorite to take first place in group H of the World Cup. And hours later, Poland, first seeded of the same group, with powerful striker Robert Lewandowski in the lead, would also be defeated by a cheerful and courageous team of Senegal.
However, the surprise is not in this couple of historical results but in what happened later. The fans of both Japan and Senegal decided to clean their respective stands before leaving the stadium making us remember that moment for ever.
And what happened days later? The Peruvians imitated what was done by the Japanese and Africans collecting the accumulated waste during the match between their national team and France despite having lost the game and thus be eliminated from the World Cup.
And this is how the world should work: copying the good.
For all the people who play soccer, the field is sacred. It’s a place to which we owe a maximum respect since it’s allowing us to develop an activity that we love. We must be grateful and take care of it.
Not only that; the playing field is a public place. We are not the owners of the field, and even if we were, it’s important to collect everything and leave it impeccable for the next people who will use it.
If we bring bottles of water to hydrate during the game or fruits to keep us energized, it’s important to collect the containers and the shells when finished. The same happens with our personal objects. When entering a backpack or any bag to a soccer field, it’s our responsibility to take it with us at the end of the game.
At a professional level, there are workers employed by the stadiums or by the clubs that perform the very worthy task of maintaining the playing field in an impeccable way so that the show is performed; but it’s at the amateur level, where we should strengthen our awareness of this act. It must be a moral obligation of ourselves to take care of the fields where we play.
And in the stands it must be the same. When entering a soccer stadium, it’s as if we were arriving at a house that is not ours and we must behave as we would in any place like when we are guests.
It cost us nothing to collect our garbage at the end of the game. It shows civility and gratitude to the people who make it possible for our children to play and have fun. Without going any further, taking care of the playing fields is the least we can do.
It’s nice to think that civics are contagious; this, already demonstrated by Japanese, Senegalese, Peruvians, Mexicans and Colombians during the World Cup. It’s our turn.