The 2002 FIFA World Cup featured 32 teams divided into eight lettered groups. Group A comprised 1998 winners, France, two-time winners Uruguay, Denmark and FIFA World Cup debutants Senegal. The group's first match was played on 31 May 2002, and the last matches on 11 June 2002.
From the outset, it was apparent that the group would not pan out as expected, as Senegal beat France 1–0 in the opening match of the tournament. France followed this with a goalless draw against Uruguay, in a match in which their star striker, Thierry Henry was sent off, before rounding out the group with another defeat to Denmark. Senegal's other two matches finished as draws, including a well-earned point against Denmark, and a bad-tempered game against Uruguay, in which 12 players were booked.
Denmark started the group well, beating Uruguay in Ulsan, before a late Senegal equaliser in Daegu prevented them from qualifying for the Round of 16 with a game to spare. Instead, they were forced to play France knowing that a draw would see them through to the next round. They won the game, 2–0, and finished top of the group, thanks to Senegal's draw with Uruguay.
Uruguay, as dark horses of the group, never really got going, their high point being a goalless draw with a sub-par France side. However, they did manage to put three goals past Senegal in a high-scoring draw, but their loss to Denmark in their opening game had dashed any hopes they may have had of qualifying for the Round of 16.