Irish firm on standby as World Cup gets underway

SIS Pitches installed six of the 12 stadium pitches for Russia 2018

The SIS Pitches team at Luzhniki.

The SIS Pitches team at Luzhniki.


Irish company SIS Pitches is set to play a major role in the World Cup in Russia, with a team from the firm on standby to maintain the high-tech pitch at Luzhniki Stadium.

The pitch is made from a mix of grass and specifically designed yarnto create a reinforced turf system. Each pitch has 10 tonnes of yarn stitched in, with natural grass making up 95 per cent of the pitch.

The Irish firm designed, constructed and installed six of the 12 stadium pitches for this year’s tournament, along with three training pitches at Luzhniki, four training pitches at Otkritie Arena, and one at Tolyatti.

Luzhniki, which will host the equivalent of full season of Premiership games in four weeks, is the only pitch that SIS Pitches will maintain; the others have already been handed over to stadium management.

“Luzhniki will have the heaviest programme of games, training sessions as well as hosting the opening ceremony and the rehearsals for the opening ceremony. We already have had six rehearsals for the opening ceremony, 15 training sessions and seven matches on the pitch; this is all apart from the activity on the training pitches,” said chief executive George Mullan.

“We will have 12 people at the pitch throughout the tournament, making sure that the surface is perfect before every game. They will then repair the pitch if any damage has been caused during the game.”

It is the most high-tech pitch ever used for a World Cup Final.

Along with the natural turf system, it alo implements a new aeration technology that allows it to be drained in seconds using a network of pipes under the pitch that forces air movement through the soil.

SIS Pitches was established in 2001 by Mr Mullan. Based in Sligo, the company supplies sports surfaces for schools, colleges, universities, sports clubs and local authorities around the world. It employs 341 people worldwide, including 56 in Russia.