South Korea and Japan, 2002
Initially in the bidding process for the 2002 World Cup, South Korea and Japan were competitors. However, just before the vote they agreed with FIFA to co-host the event. Unfortunately the rivalry and distance between the two countries led to organizational and logistical problems.
- In the lead-up to 2002 World Cup finals, Senegalese midfielder Khalilou Fadiga was accused of stealing a necklace from a jewelry shop in Korea. Fortunately, Fadiga was released without any charge. The Korean police dropped charges at the request of the shop owner. The necklace, worth US$240, was later displayed in the shop window and called 'Fadiga's necklace'. Fadiga played in the opening match of the 2002 finals five days after the incident.
- In the 2002 finals, the Cameroon players were disallowed to wear sleeveless shirts. FIFA considered Cameroon's sleeveless shirts to be vest but not shirts which a player is required to wear under the FIFA Laws of the Game. Earlier, Cameroon wore the sleeveless shirts throughout the 2002 African Nations Cup and won the title.
- The quickest yellow card shown to a substitute in the history of World Cup finals was awarded to Korean forward Cha Doo-Ri during his two-minute's play in a First Round match against Poland on 4 June 2002. Cha Doo-Ri was booked only after 20 seconds after coming in as a substitute during injury time.
- Before returning home after the 2002 finals, the Senegalese team visited Taiwan, for diplomatic reasons. Senegal is one of the 28 countries in the world which recognize Taiwan as a nation. During a red-carpet reception at the Taiwanese president's office, some players wore shorts and sandals. A scheduled friendly match between these two nations was canceled because many Senegalese players did not want to play. Thirty-seven call girls were said to have entered the players' hotel rooms during their two-day visit.
- USA's star striker Landon Donovan, the day after their defeat to Germany in the 2002 quarter finals, played in a USA League match. Strange but true, the USA League did not have a break when the USA national team were playing in the 2002 finals. Due to time difference, Donovan could manage to play for his club San Jose in USA on Saturday 22 June 2002 after playing in the quarter finals in Korea on Friday 21 June.
- Ronaldo changed his hair style after Brazil beat England in the 2002 quarter finals so as to look more different from his teammate Roberto Carlos. He wanted to have a new look because his son Ronald had wrongly recognized Roberto Carlos as Ronaldo - their toddler son kissed the TV screen shouting 'daddy' when Roberto Carlos appeared on TV during the quarter final match.
- The Fastest goal ever in a World Cup match was by Turkey's Hakan Sükür after only 11 seconds against South Korea in 2002.
- On the same day when the two strongest teams in the world played in the 2002 Final in Japan, a specially-arranged match between Bhutan and Montserrat - the two weakest teams in the world, was played in Bhutan. Montserrat, ranked 203rd, and Bhutan, ranked 202nd, were the lowest ranked countries in the world. It took the players five days for the trip from the Caribbean island of Montserrat to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Bhutan won 'The Other Final' on 30 June 2002, 4-0 in front of a crowd of 15,000 which was more than double the population of Montserrat. After the match, the players got together and watched the 'real' World Cup final on television.
- Videos from the 2002 FIFA World Cup
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