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U.S.-Mexico-Canada joint bid submits application to host 2026 World Cup

With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.

The United States, Mexico and Canada formally submitted their joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup on Friday, as did fellow hopefuls Morocco.

The deadline has now passed for any other countries to submit a bid, with FIFA due to vote on a winner on June 13.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: "We have two bids in play, one is a joint bid involving Canada, United States and Mexico, one is Morocco.

"Today, these two bids were presented and they will be looked at thoroughly by a technical task force. We will evaluate the two bids. We will visit the venues and then decide if the two bids live up to the minimum requirements. If they are, the decision will be taken to congress."

Carlos Cordeiro, the newly elected president of U.S. Soccer, wrote on Twitter:

In a letter addressed to "presidents, general secretaries and members of our FIFA family," Cordeiro and bid co-chairmen Steven Reed and Decio De Maria wrote: "We believe that our three nations offer the only bid that can deliver the certainty that's needed."

The digital bid submission is comprised of over 500 pages, and including supplemental elements will reach nearly 1,000 pages. Adding the hosting documents on top of that and executive director John Kristick said the number of pages climbs into the tens of thousands.

In a change from previous World Cup bidding contests, all eligible FIFA countries will have a vote for one of the two bids, rather than top FIFA executives, and those votes will be made public for the first time.

Last month, ESPN reported that support for the North American bid is more divided than most predicted, with some estimates of voting totals having Morocco not just threatening bid but beating it.

The North American bid is touting its location "proven experience," "world-class, large-capacity stadiums" and in-place infrastructure, while Morocco is pitching its compact size and "sweet spot" time zone.

Few formal details of Morocco's bid have been announced, but its committee said it would go through its submission at an event in Casablanca on Saturday.

A day earlier, the United Bid Committee, which is organizing the North American joint bid, reduced the field of potential host cities to 23 candidates, including 17 in the U.S. 

The bid has faced some obstacles this week with the news that Chicago, Minneapolis and Vancouver all dropping out over what local officials perceived as unacceptable demands from FIFA.

Also at the FIFA Council meeting in Colombia on Friday, the governing body rubber-stamped the use of video review at this summer's World Cup as expected.

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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