By Annette Amondi
As the world comes together for another World Cup season, there are bound to be stories of special moments at the Russia 2018. Here are some of the most heart-warming occurrences that have happened in Russia so far.
Fans clean stadiums
Japan made headlines back in 2014 for cleaning up the rubbish in the stadiums after their team played in Brazil, a tradition that has continued into Russia.
Football fans were happy to once again see Japanese fans partaking in the good deed, but even more impressed that the goodwill has spread to supporters from other countries as well, such as Senegal, Panama and Colombia.
And Senegal fans also made headlines last week after a video of them cleaning the stadium after their victory against Poland.
Lifting up a wheelchair-bound Egyptian fan
In another inspiring moment, a photo from the opening day of the tournament showed football fans at Fan Fest helping lift a wheelchair-bound Egyptian fan above their shoulders as part of a celebration and a moment of unity. The moment was captured on camera and quickly went viral.
The 25-year-old fan, named Hassan Sedky, described the experience in an interview with CNN as being completely spontaneous.
“It was completely spontaneous. One minute everyone is dancing and the next I was up on the air.” He said
Panama fans celebrate their first ever World Cup goal
They didn’t win in their opening two games. They weren’t even close. But for fans of Panama, celebrated their squad’s score in the history of the tournament (thanks to 37-year-old Felipe Baloy). The goal was Panama’s first ever world cup goal and was a sight worth celebrating. Fans in Russia were happy with the goal even if it was in a 6-1 loss to England. This was the team’s first time qualifying for the biggest football tournament on the planet, but even if they aren’t going to advance, it’s still a moment to remember for Panama’s fans.
Football fans back home in Panama also took to the streets to celebrate the goal.
Here are other unforgettable world cup moments from previous years.
In 1966 the Jules Rimet Trophy, then the World Cup, was stolen while on display at Westminster and then found, hidden under a bush, by a dog named ‘Pickles’.
The Jules Rimet Cup was a 4 kilo solid gold statuette of the goddess of victory holding an octagonal cup in her outstretched arms. Mounted on a base of semi-precious stones, it was named after a French football administrator. It is said that during World War II, he hid the trophy under his bed fearing that the German forces would steal it and melt it down. After Brazil retired the trophy in 1970, it was stolen in 1983 and melted down.
The World Cup of 1962 was held in earthquake-devastated Chile. When doubts were raised about its ability to stage the event, its football president Carlos Dittborn appealed to FIFA begging for the chance to host the tournament.
“We must have the World Cup because we have nothing.” He said. Sadly Dittborn passed on a month before the World Cup kicked off
Chile’s fans claimed that their players ate Swiss cheese before the match against Switzerland and won 3-1, and that they ate pasta before the match against Italy and won 2-0. Before the quarter-final against USSR, the players supposedly had a few swigs of Vodka and beat them 2-1. In the semi-final against Brazil, Chilean fans displayed banners saying, “With or without Pelé, we shall drink Nescafe!” Brazil smothered Chile 4-2 and then beat Czechoslovakia 3-1 to lift the Cup a second time.