Irish firm nets deal for African Cup pitches

AN Irish company has landed a €20 million contract to design and build pitches for the African Cup of Nations football tournament next year.

SIS Ireland yesterday announced it had secured a contract, rumoured to be worth in the region of €20m million, to design and build 15 natural grass pitches for the tournament in Angola next year.

The contract was signed by SIS chief executive officer George Mullan in Luanda last week with COCAN (the tournament’s organising committee) and Angola’s Ministry of Public Construction.

Speaking about the contract, the SIS chief executive said the project opened up a new market for the company in Africa and particularly in Angola.

Mr Mullan spent three weeks visiting the venues and reviewing the plans with Daniel Ribeiro of GeoDesenho, a Portuguese company.

The SIS chief executive said the company presented a unique proposal for the championships, not only to design and build, but also to maintain the pitches through the growing period and to the end of the championship.

“Rather than just build the pitches we wanted to take ownership of the pitches through to the end of the tournament, this allows COCAN to focus on the tournament without concerns over the pitches,” he said.

Mr Mullan pointed out that the company had extensive experience in the construction and maintenance of pitches.

The large scale project is due to begin in May with all the pitches expected to be completed by the end of July

SIS will take 22 employees to Angola to carry out the projects, split into three teams.

All of the stadium venues in Luanda, Bengula, Lubango and Cabinda will have SIS pitches, as well as the training centres and nursery pitches.

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