BiH to construct hybrid football pitches, tender rules favourable for one bidder

NEWS 12.04.2022 11:52
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Source: FENA

Vico Zeljkovic, the Chairman of the Bosnian Football Association, announced that the association is a step closer to achieving its dream – building 12 hybrid football pitches at the stadiums across the country.

N1 came into possession of a contract, which was reached between the UEFA and the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the governing body for European football provided financial support of 1.082 million euros through the Hattrick V programme and 448,055 euros from a previously approved project to combat COVID pandemic consequences.

The total amount provided by the UEFA for the hybrid soccer fields in Bosnia and Herzegovina amounts to 1,530,547 euros.

The cost of the project of this kind, experts told N1, amounts to more than 20 million marks (more than 10 million euros), which means the Football Association will have to provide the remaining amount from its own accounts i.e. through sponsorship agreements and other sources.

Zeljkovic unveiled that two offers already arrived from the companies: SIS Eastern Europe Ltd, Bucomerc Ltd as well as the consortium WICKR Group AS, Hellasod SA and Tarkettsports B.V.

Football Association prefers old technology-based construction

N1 has learned that many more offers were supposed to arrive but it never happened because the Football Association asked in its demands for the old construction technologies that are not used anymore by the leading global companies, so they gave up on the bid.

Modern technology has made such method of construction obsolete for several years now, so it remains unknown why the Football Association prefers less quality and cheaper hybrid pitches than those that are the standard in Europe and the world today?

The answer may lie in a letter by Marc Vercammen, General Manager of the Grassmax systems Sarl. sent to the Bosnian football governing body some time ago, in which Vercammen complained about the terms of the tender, where only one company among those to whom the tender was sent is using such technology.

“6 filaments, min. 6000 dtex – max. 6800 dtex. ONLY 1 company using this fibre, which is obsolete. The market evolved to the use of higher weight (dtex) fibre types of min. 9000 dtex or more, as the thin 6600 dtex simply go flat very quickly, causing issues upon the yearly required pitch renovations. Nobody in the market, except one company uses yarn of 6600 dtex anymore,” reads the letter.

N1 unofficially learns that the company using old type of fibre placed its bid. Another company, according to a source close to the Football Association, changed its way of operation and machinery, to be able to apply for the job.

“It is surprising, as it seems your project to be financed with funding from UEFA's Hattrick programme and it is unlikely UEFA would accept such closed tender situations, rather than having a fair open competition bid,” Vercammen wrote, adding that the company will not participate in the tender unless the specifications are amended.

Since the company has not appeared among the bidders, it appears that 12 hybrid pitches in Bosnia and Herzegovina will have a low quality, and it also raises concerns that a greater part of the requirements set in the tender goes in favour to one company only.

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