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FIFPro is astonished by the actions of Lokomotiv Plovdiv. The management of the Bulgarian club has taken psychological tests of their players. ‘This is absurd’, reacts FIFPro secretary general Theo van Seggelen.


Last week, club director Veselin Mareshki said he wanted his players and coaching staff taking a lie detector test after they had surprisingly lost at bottom side Botev Vratsa. He wanted to be sure that none of his players were involved in match-fixing.

FIFPro and the Bulgarian professional footballers’ association criticized the club’s decision to have players take lie detector tests. Now it is revealed that the players have taken a ‘psychological’ test instead of a lie detector test. This psychological test was used to determine what the players’  opinion was regarding working at the club, and how they valued their relation with the training staff and club management. There were no questions related to match-fixing.

‘The players told us, that they want to put an end to this story’, explained Mila Hristova, spokesperson of the Bulgarian players’ union ABF. ‘The players also asked us what we would do if we were in their situation: for three years their names had been linked with match-fixing. Then a new president arrives, who wants to test their loyalty, and they then want to prove they’re sincere.’

‘We, the ABF, are very critical about club managements who treat their players as potential criminals. Nevertheless, in the end it is the decision of the players to take these tests.’

FIFPro secretary general Theo van Seggelen: ‘This is absurd. First, the club’s management puts itself in jeopardy by treating its players as potential suspects, even though there was no evidence. We are talking about its own players…’

‘Then, they came to the conclusion – by themselves or thanks to critical reactions – that taking a lie detector test was improper. To avoid loss of face, they came up with a psychological test, supposedly to test the players’ loyalty. By doing that, they have sunk even lower.

‘The players have become victims of the management’s ridiculous behavior.’ 

‘We advice the club to apologize to all its players to prevent even a bigger loss of face.'

‘Lastly, I would strongly recommend the players, to never again participate in this kind of dubious activities.’