Sake instead of champagne. Kimchi in place of crepes. Goodbye Eiffel Tower, hello DMZ.

The next World Cup will be as different from the edition that ends Sunday as East from West - the places it's held, the cultures involved, the way the teams are picked, even the nature of the host.Two countries, not one, will stage the 17th world championship of soccer in 2002, and they're not exactly bosom buddies.

Japan and South Korea, the twin turbines that drove Asia's economic boom and are now going through hard times, were chosen to share the World Cup in a decision born of soccer politics and global marketing.

FIFA, soccer's international federation, made the unprecedented choice of co-hosts because it didn't want to upset either nation and their deep-pocket consumers as soccer seeks to spread from its traditional strongholds in Europe and Latin America. Officials have made it clear that this is a one-time alternative to the one-country tradition.

Japan and South Korea break tradition, too, because neither is a soccer power, unlike France which invented the World Cup in the 1920s.

The Koreans played in their fifth World Cup this summer, while Japan made its debut. Both were eliminated in the first round, although they showed signs of better things to come.

"The only difference is that we lack experience," said Hong Myung-bo, a South Korean defender. "Of course, the level of football in Asia is still inferior to that in Europe."

Because they are hosts, Japan and South Korea automatically are in the tournament. That puts a strain on the field, which will stay at the 32 teams it expanded to in France. With the winner of Sunday's championship game also guaranteed a spot, just 29 spots will be open to almost 200 nations, who must go through continental qualifying tournaments.

That's where another big difference will probably appear. Emerging soccer nations are demanding more spots in the field, which is dominated by Europe (15 berths), South America and Africa (five apiece).

The South Pacific region, which includes Australia and New Zealand, is eyeing a guaranteed berth, rather than having to compete in a wild-card qualification. There's a proposal to hold spots open for nations who have never played in the World Cup. Even Europe and Africa, with their big fields, want more.

Sepp Blatter, FIFA's new president, said the continental qualifying system will be decided by the end of the year. He said it would be the trickiest piece of the 2002 puzzle.

"The fact that there are two hosts, and the defending champion, who get in automatically makes this especially difficult," he said. "It will require a very diplomatic solution."

For the first round, the field will be split down the middle, with 16 teams in four groups playing in South Korea and the same number in Japan. Blatter said he would like to maintain the French practice of teams playing their three first-round games in different cities.

"The teams say it is better for them," he said. "They are not stuck in one place. They get to travel. They get to see things."

With the second round, the international travel begins. Half the Korea-based teams will go to Japan, and half the Japan-based teams to Korea. That pattern stays through the semifinals, before the winners travel to Tokyo for the title game.