The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup, held in South Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June. It was also the first World Cup held in Asia, and the last in which the golden goal rule was implemented. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0 in the final. Turkey beat South Korea 3–2 in the third place match.
South Korea and Japan were selected as hosts by FIFA on 31 May 1996. Initially, South Korea, Japan, and Mexico presented three rival bids. However, the two Asian countries agreed to unite their bids shortly before the decision was made, and they were chosen unanimously in preference to Mexico. This was the first (and so far the only) World Cup to be hosted by two countries.
At the time the decision was made, Japan had never qualified for a World Cup finals (although the Japanese did subsequently qualify for the 1998 competition). The only other countries to have been awarded a World Cup without previously having competed in a Finals tournament are Italy in 1934 and Qatar in 2022.
A total of 199 teams attempted to qualify for the 2002 World Cup which qualification process began with the preliminary draw in 1999. Defending World Champions France and co-hosts Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan automatically qualified and did not have to play any qualification matches. (This was the last time that the defending champions automatically qualified).
14 places were contested by UEFA teams (Europe), five by CAF teams (Africa), four by CONMEBOL teams (South America), four by AFC teams (Asia), and three by CONCACAF teams (North and Central America and Caribbean). The remaining two places were decided by playoffs between AFC and UEFA and between CONMEBOL and OFC (Oceania). Four nations qualified for the finals for the first time: China, Ecuador, Senegal, and Slovenia.