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2002 FIFA World Cup

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2002 FIFA World Cup
This edition is a clear example of internal corruption within FIFA in those years.
Genre: Sports
Running Time: 31 days
Country: South Korea
Release Date: 31 May - 30 June, 2002
Network(s): Various around the world

The 2002 FIFA World Cup was the 17th edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's national football teams organized by FIFA. It was held from 31 May to 30 June 2002 at sites in South Korea and Japan, with its final match hosted by Japan at International Stadium in Yokohama.


In this edition, 32 teams participated, which were divided into eight groups of four teams each. France, the champion of the previous edition, was eliminated in the group stage, while local South Korea went to the next phase as leader of group D. In the round of 16 Paraguay, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, and Japan were eliminated. While in the quarterfinals the United States, Spain, England, and Senegal were eliminated. In the semi-finals, Germany eliminated South Korea and Brazil eliminated Turkey, while in the grand finals, Brazil defeated Germany 2-0, winning their fifth world cup.

Why It Got The Red Card

  1. This edition was marked by corruption scandals and questionable arbitrations, which helped South Korea advance in the Cup in a fraudulent way.
    • In the match between South Korea and Italy in the round of 16, the Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno annulled a legitimate goal by the Italians for an alleged offside that never existed, he expelled Francesco Totti for allegedly faking a foul, although he did not fake a knockdown, and allowed the South Koreans to play aggressively without being sent off, causing Italy to be unfairly eliminated.
    • In the match between South Korea and Spain in the quarterfinals, the Egyptian referee Gamal Ghandour annulled two valid goals from Spain and did not penalize some South Korean players for playing aggressively, which caused the match to be resolved on penalties and, again, South Korea will advance to the next phase while Spain was unfairly eliminated.
  2. Apart from those mentioned above, there were also scandals in other matches, such as refereeing errors in the group stage match between Brazil and Turkey, Marc Wilmots' unjustly disallowed goal in the match between Belgium and Brazil, the hand of the American John O 'Brien who was not sanctioned in favor of Mexico and the hand of the German Torsten Frings who was not sanctioned in favor of the United States.
  3. The Adidas Fevernova football was widely criticized for being too light, which made it difficult to handle.
  4. The official World Cup mascots, some aliens named Ato, Kaz and Nik, were widely criticized for their ugly design and for not representing Asian culture at all.
  5. Due to the time differences between South Korea and Japan with the rest of the world, several games were broadcast in the wee hours of the morning in the Americas and Europe, which upset many viewers.
  6. Some powerful teams like France or Argentina had quite disappointing performances in this World Cup.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. This was the very first World Cup to be played in Asia, which was quite novel for the time.
  2. Some of the teams had pretty good performances.
    • Turkey and Senegal were the big surprises of this edition, defeating powerful teams and finishing in third and seventh position respectively in the final standings.
    • Brazil won its fifth World Cup and had pretty good players (especially Ronaldo).
    • Germany, USA, Spain, and England were also pretty good teams.
  3. The opening and closing ceremonies were decent.
  4. "Boom" and "Anthem" were good official songs and good official anthem respectively.


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