An Irish-owned global pitch specialist has installed the pitch for the much-anticipated 2018 World Cup Final in Russia.
SIS Pitches was selected to design, construct and install six of the 12 pitches to be used at the World Cup finals, including at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
The Luzhniki Stadium will host the opening game, the opening ceremony, a semi-final as well as the World Cup Final itself.
This is the first time that a World Cup Final has ever been played on anything but all-natural grass.
The use of the company’s reinforced natural turf system and its aeration technology will make the Luzhniki Stadium the most technologically advanced pitch in World Cup history.
Russia 2018 starts on June 14 – one month from today.
The company is in the process of having each pitch independently certified to FIFA’s quality standards before SIS Pitches formally hands over three of the pitches to stadium management.
SIS Pitches was set up in 2001 by CEO George Mullan, who directs the company from Sligo.
"It was an absolute honour to have been chosen to not only design, construct and install the pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium but at six of the 12 World Cup venues – working on more pitches than any other company," said Mr Mullan.
"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 that the pitches are resilient in all conditions, and I am sure the 2018 World Cup finals will be one that we will always remember.
As well as Luzhniki Stadium, the other five pitches to be installed by SIS Pitches are: