Bulgarian first division side Lokomotiv Plovdiv have had a shaky start to the season, with one win and four draws from their opening six matches. On Saturday, the 2004 champions suffered a surprise loss to Botev Vratsa, who were previously rock bottom thanks to a streak of five consecutive defeats.
Rather than writing off the surprise loss as an isolated bad afternoon, Plovdiv's owner Veselin Mareshki has smelt a whiff of match fixing, and promptly ordered his players to take lie detector tests. The Guardian reports:
"Nobody is insured against defeats but this loss is very strange," Mareshki said. "The fair-play principle is the most important thing for me and all players and coaches will take lie detector tests."
While the owner may have been watching too much Homeland, his paranoia can't be helped by the fact that Bulgarian football has been plagued by match fixing allegations for years. In the past few weeks the Bulgarian Football Union has opened an investigation into match fixing claims in four separate domestic games, while Spartak Pleven's youth team have been expelled from an U-19 Championship before a corruption investigation has actually been concluded.
Say what you like about trust issues in employer-employee relationships in Bulgarian football, but they certainly don't waste any time in rooting out corruption.
- Sports & Recreation