Irish firm to make history at World Cup in Russia

Irish firm to make history at World Cup in Russia
George Mullan, owner of SIS Group. Pic: James Connolly / PicSell8

By Pádraig Hoare

There will be a significant Irish on-field presence at this summer’s World Cup in Russia with a Sligo-owned firm selected to install six of the 12 pitches used at the tournament, including the final.

SIS Pitches was selected to design, construct and install six pitches, including the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which will host the opening game and the final.

It is the first time a World Cup final has ever been played on anything but all-natural grass, after former Fifa general secretary Jérôme Valcke outlined plans in 2014 for a men’s final to be played on a synthetic pitch “sooner rather than later”.

SIS Pitches, which was set up in 2001 by chief executive George Mullan who directs the company from Sligo, lay grass and synthetic pitches and sports surfaces at some of the biggest stadiums around the world.

Russian organisers say the Luzhniki Stadium will be the most advanced in World Cup history with the use of the company’s reinforced natural turf system called SISGrass.

Mr Mullan said: “SISGrass was only launched in 2015 and already it has been installed at a number of world-class stadiums and now the 2018 World Cup Final will be played on it. 

The quality of SISGrass will ensure the pitches are resilient.”

Other stadia pitches that will be laid by SIS include the 45,000-seater and home of Spartak Moscow, Otkritie Arena, and the 45,000-seater Rostov Arena which will host five World Cup games including Brazil’s opener against Switzerland.

More on this topic

Qatar World Cup chief surprised by ‘severity’ of criticism of 2022 hostsQatar World Cup chief surprised by ‘severity’ of criticism of 2022 hosts

Paying the penalty: England’s spot-kick miseryPaying the penalty: England’s spot-kick misery

Phil Neville questions USA’s ‘etiquette’ over hotel visitPhil Neville questions USA’s ‘etiquette’ over hotel visit

Neville reveals admiration for ‘world-class’ US star RapinoeNeville reveals admiration for ‘world-class’ US star Rapinoe

More in this Section

Dublin Port project raises concernsDublin Port project raises concerns

Unions call for pay-gap disclosuresUnions call for pay-gap disclosures

Brexit still means Brexit for this islandBrexit still means Brexit for this island

Irish companies to win as UK trade spat thawsIrish companies to win as UK trade spat thaws


Lifestyle

Breathing apps have soared in popularity – here’s how to give it a go without your phone. By Abi Jackson.3 breathing exercises to reduce stress, anxiety and a racing mind

We hear a lot about the geese, ducks and swans that arrive here from colder climes for the winter, but much less about smaller birds that come here to escape harsher conditions in northern Europe.Keep an eye out for redwings this winter

More From The Irish Examiner