CHICAGO – The united bid of the United States, Mexico and Canada for the 2026 World Cup won’t be clear sailing.

The three CONCACAF countries will have a rival to host that extravaganza — Morroco.

FIFA announced Friday that the trio will compete against the African nation for the opportunity. Mororcco announced its intention to participate in process. The deadline for member associations to inform FIFA of their intention to bid was Friday.

“We’ve always been prepared for the fact that other countries could also decide to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup,” U.S. Soccer President and United Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “Competition is good, and overall it shows the value and importance of the World Cup. We’re excited to prepare a bid that will demonstrate to FIFA that the first World Cup to be held in the CONCACAF region since 1994 should be awarded to Canada, Mexico and the United States.

“Over the next eight months we’ve got a lot of work to do. The United Bid Committee has already started that work, and we will now go into full motion with our team in New York, in collaborations with our partners in Canada and Mexico.

“Next week we will provide an update on the number of cities that are interested in being part of the World Cup in 2026 across all three countries, and we’ll continue to put together a bid that will meet and exceed the final regulations and specifications required by FIFA.”

As it turned out, the U.S. bid against Morocco and Brazil for the right to host the 1994 World Cup.

All bidders must submit their proposal for consideration by FIFA by the deadline of March 16, 2018. A decision on whether to select one of the bidders will be taken at the FIFA Congress next June.

The United Bid Committee’s board of directors includes Gulati (chairman), Steven Reed (Canada), Peter Montopoli (Canada), Decio De Maria (Mexico), Guillermo Cantu (Mexico), Carlos Cordeiro (USA), Donna Shalala (USA), Dan Flynn (USA), Don Garber (USA), Carlos Bocanegra (USA), Julie Foudy (USA), Ed Foster-Simeon (USA) and Victor Montagliani (CONCACAF).