Football rouses passions of fair play all over the world but some coaches want to win at any cost. Our client fought hard to have the coach of his son’s local, amateur league team take a lie detector test in Exeter.
Grant wasn’t keen on his son’s new football coach, Jamie. The team hadn’t done so well this last season and Grant’s son Darren was losing interest. This was a real issue for Grant as his son was exceptionally good, so much so that he thought he may be able to take up the sport professionally. Although the team was weak, Darren had kept the momentum going and they’d won the last four games without issues.
However, now Jamie was asking him to take risks, diving and fouling other players in a bid to get free kicks and unfair penalties.
Winning a game with these types of dirty tactics was all too familiar to Grant. As an avid football fan he often felt that the team he supported lost games unfairly. He’d always thought that getting the referees to take lie detector tests prior to kick off would make sure the games were fair and everyone had an even chance of playing to win.
Grant watched as Jamie taught Darren how to fall on the ground without being touched and make it look like he’d been fouled, he also found him chatting in the pub and buying drinks for the referee nearly every Sunday after the games were played. It wasn’t fair on the other teams or the fathers of the boys who played in them. Darren wasn’t being used to his full potential or being shown as the great footballer that he could turn out to be. It was only little league but if Grant was to get the scouts from the major clubs to come and see his son, he needed to know that the type of football Darren was playing was up to standard. It couldn’t be about cheating to win the games and make the manager look good.
Grant approached Jamie, who of course denied any wrongdoing. But with the support of Darren’s headmaster, the parents insisted he take a lie detector test. After all, if Grant was wrong then surely Jamie would have no objection.
The league was an out of school activity but the school saw Darren’s potential and wanted to give him the best start. Also due to the wins of the team the school had taken Jamie on as a PE teacher and wasn’t happy about the accusations some parents were making.
Results of the lie detector test in Exeter
Jamie took the lie detector test at the school. He failed miserably but asserted that the test was wrong, not him. When the referee was confronted he admitted everything, rather than take a test himself.
Jamie lost his job and his position as manager of the little league. His wasn’t the type of football the kids should be playing or the kind of example teachers are expected to set.
Maybe our own leagues could take a leaf out of this book. So many times fans feel the referee isn’t playing fair to both sides. Time and again corners and free kicks are given when this is a result of malicious foul play. If referees and coaches were subject to polygraph tests as part of their pre-engagement screening, some of the corruption in football could be eliminated. A few bad apples cast doubt on the integrity of the majority of professional football referees.