FIFA World Cup 2002
Not only was the 2002 tournament the first to be held in Asia, it was the first to be co-hosted by two nations. Initially Japan and South Korea submitted separate bids with a third coming from Mexico. Shortly before FIFA were due to make their decision in May 1996, the Japanese and South Korean associations agreed to combine their bid, which won unanimous support. No fewer than 20 stadia, ten in each country, were used, most of which were built from scratch.
A total of 199 national teams contested the 29 available places. France, as champions qualified automatically but this was the last time that the holders were granted a free pass to the finals. Europe were awarded 14 places, Africa five, South America and Asia four each while CONCACEF (North and Central America plus the Caribbean) had three. Inter-continental play-offs determined who would get the remaining two places.
All seven previous champions appeared while China, Ecuador, Senegal and Slovenia qualified for the first time. Squads were increased from 22 to 23 with the proviso that every squad contain three goalkeepers.