News of the day: referee Alexei Matyunin, who officiated the Khimki-Krylya Sovetov match a few rounds ago, has been temporarily suspended from work.

The reason is the following – according to RB-Sport, he did not pass a polygraph test, that is, a lie detector.

The prerequisites are as follows – Khimki won with a score of 4: 1, while the Samara team received two removals in that match, and after the game they called refereeing a circus. Midfielder “Wings” Maxim Glushenkov even defiantly did not shake hands with Matyunin.

You can refresh the circumstances of that game and understand (or not understand) Matyunin’s logic in the Championship material about that match. For you – analysis of the arbitrator Igor Fedotov.



Did the judges really
Did the judges really “kill” “Spartak” and “Wings of the Soviets”? Analysis of the work of arbitrators in the 26th round

The results of Matyunin on the lie detector in a strange way superimposed on the circumstances. On the one hand, Matyunin wrote a letter addressed to the head of the RFU, Alexander Dyukov, and claimed in it that the head of the RPL, Ashot Khachaturyants, “supervises” the Samara Wings. On the other hand, so many questions have accumulated about Matyunin’s work that now the RFU (and not the RPL) is conducting an internal audit.

The central place of this story, I see the same lie detector, he is a polygraph. And I have accumulated questions about both the procedure itself and its results.

Alexey Matyunin

Alexey Matyunin

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

Question one

I’ll start with the naive and simple. The lie detector is actually a rather romantic thing and personally refers me to films about intelligence officers, fascinating electronics and the Galileo program, where the presenter Alexander Pushnoy just talked about such technologies.

As a viewer, I am interested in seeing the detector itself, the video of the procedure, or at least to find out some details: what kind of wires were connected to the arbitrator, what questions were asked. A small educational program would add openness to the event: how the polygraph works and what is its effectiveness.

So far, the polygraph remains a secret story, about which we can learn in detail from interviews with already suspended arbitrators.

Here is a quote from the monologue of Stanislav Vasiliev, who was suspended last season after an error in the match “Rotor” – “Akhmat” when the referee did not put a penalty kick in the gates of Volgograd.

“Immediately at the beginning of the conversation on the polygraph, the polygraph examiner Lyudmila said: “Confess, do not hide anything, Ashot Rafailovich – he is all-understanding and all-forgiving.” She spoke of him with great admiration. The situation there is normal: an ordinary office, a table, a chair, sensors. There was no feeling that I was at some kind of interrogation – first a conversation that lasted an hour and a half, then – a conversation already with sensors. There were over a hundred questions. I went there at 10 am and left at 4 pm. There were small pauses, but in general the whole process lasted six hours.”

Referee Vladimir Moskalev works at the RPL match

Referee Vladimir Moskalev works at the RPL match

Photo: Dmitry Golubovich, Championship

Question two

And is it true that a lie detector test is the best option? Is it known for sure that this device does not work as a superdeterminer of truth? After all, you can be nervous and not pass it. You can be able to lie and vice versa – to pass. And which of these options fell to Matyunin – we also do not know.

You can read in the media that a polygraph alone cannot be the basis for an accusation or any decisions. Or that the polygraph is 100% accurate. And in situations with arbitrators, it looks more like an indicative than an effective tool.

In contrast, there is a spacious commentary by Pavel Kamantsev, head of the refereeing department of the RFU. Also read his large-scale interview on the “Championship”.

Here is what Kamantsev says about the polygraph (for convenience, we have divided his thoughts into paragraphs):

  • there are two percent of liars who cannot be identified. But no one says that the polygraph is the only evidence for decision making;
  • there is ESC, there is assessment analysis, there is context, there is information collected and there is verification. What else could be the approach?
  • you need to understand that in any case we will make a decision, with or without a polygraph. For me, the decision about the fate of a person with the results of a polygraph study is more authoritative than one made simply on the analysis of a match, career mistakes, etc.

The procedure is voluntary, and each referee can say: “I want to be decided on the results of the performance in the matches and other factors, but without the use of additional funds.

Question three

What’s next? Even after checking Matyunin on a polygraph, nothing became clear.

There is no public evidence. There is a distant and theoretical understanding that the polygraph helps to complete the picture. And also there is also a feeling that the life of the judges will not be the same. And the closed, that is, non-transparent process with the polygraph and Matyunin tells us something.

That’s just about what?

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