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FIFPro totally disagrees with the decision of the Bulgarian club Lokomotiv Plovdiv to order their players and coaches to take lie detector tests. ‘Simply put: the lie detector tests are dubious.’

Last Saturday, Lokomotiv Plovdiv suffered its first defeat of the season, losing 1-0 to Botev Vratsa, which are bottom of the table. Immediately concerns about match-fixing were raised. In Bulgaria match-fixing in professional sports is a big concern for everyone involved in sports.

The surprising loss prompted club owner Veselin Mareshki to order his players and coaches to take a lie detector test. ‘Nobody is insured against defeats but this loss is very strange’, Mareshki said in local media. ‘The fair play principle is the most important thing for me and all players and coaches will take lie detector tests.’

FIFPro is highly concerned by the decision of Lokomotiv Plovdiv’s management. ‘We have some very critical remarks’, said FIFPro lawyer Wil van Megen. ‘The lie detector tests are no means to use at this stage.’

Van Megen has serious doubts about the accuracy of the lie detector test. ‘Many scientists have criticized the use of the lie detector. They are not convinced that this tool is the most accurate to determine whether someone is telling the truth or lying. Experts say that people can cheat at these tests, that people can be influenced while taking these tests, that these tests can give the wrong results. Simply put: lie detector tests are dubious.’

Van Megen puts question marks behind the legitimacy of using the lie detector test. ‘If this tool were to be applied, then it should be used by the defence, not by the prosecutor. The result of this lie detector test should only be used as incidental evidence, not as the only piece of evidence.‘ 

FIFPro wants to stress that players are often the victims of match-fixing. Professional footballers could be involved, but match-fixing never starts with the players. Therefore, it takes much more than focusing on footballers to abolish match-fixing.

For complete clarity: FIFPro is against any form of manipulation in professional football. FIFPro is involved in various initiatives aimed at bringing an end to match-fixing, and FIFPro is fully prepared to offer its full cooperation in serious efforts to tackle match-fixing. 



Reaction Bulgarian professional footballers’ association ABF
‘We are in close contact with the players from Lokomotiv Plovdiv. We have been assured that they are not being forced to take the lie detector tests. The players are thinking about taking these tests, because they want to clear their names. But as far as we know, the players and coaches have still not decided whether they will take the test.’  

‘Lokomotiv Plovdiv has a bad reputation due to the actions of the previous owner, who was a very shady person and said to be involved with match-fixing. Since he has left, the club and players are trying to clear the image of the club.’ 

‘The ABF is against the use of the lie detector test. It is not 100 percent accurate. And, where does it end: do you have to take a lie detector test each time you lose, just to prove you are innocent?’ 

‘Apparently the Plovdiv players are under the impression that they have to clear their names. But the ABF sees no reason for them to do this. They don’t have to do this. But it is still their decision.’






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