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tv   BBC Wales Investigates  BBC News  May 29, 2022 11:30am-12:00pm BST

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hello this is bbc news, these are the headlines. anger at the treatment of fans at the champions league final in paris. the match is delayed and some supporters claim they were tear gassed and prevented from entering the ground. real madrid win the match, after a 1—0 victory over liverpool. the spanish football side take the title for a record fourteenth time. legendaryjockey lester piggott, who won the derby nine times, has died at the age of 86. heavy fighting is continuing in eastern ukraine, where russian forces are trying to capture the city of severodonetsk. the russian ambassador to the uk tells the bbc that moscow will not use tactical nuclear weapons in the battle for ukraine. president biden renews his appeal for tighter gun control following the texas elementary school shooting as the parents
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prepare to bury their children. now on bbc news the hidden world of football. bbc wales investigates goes undercover to examine corruption in lower league football. 0h! go and wake your kids up, something special is happening here tonight. unbelievable! football has never been more popular. it is truly the global game. the top players earn millions.
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at the other end of the scale, players are paid just a few hundred pounds. the football industry is worth billions and there can be big profits in buying and selling players, but also through gambling. in the welsh premier league alone, £160 million is gambled on matches every year. and that is just the money we know about. more is gambled on black markets across the world. and it is money which can attract the wrong kind of people to the sport. i the wrong kind of people to the sort. ~ , ., ., sport. i think it is fair to say that corruption _ sport. i think it is fair to say that corruption has - sport. i think it is fair to say that corruption has always l sport. i think it is fair to say - that corruption has always been around football.— that corruption has always been around football. kevin carpenter is around football. kevin carpenter is a la er around football. kevin carpenter is a lawyer specialising _ around football. kevin carpenter is a lawyer specialising in _ around football. kevin carpenter is a lawyer specialising in sports - a lawyer specialising in sports integrity and he has advised football authorities across europe. more specifically we are talking of match fixing, money—laundering, issues about conflicts of interest, bribery, so all those kind of terms
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come within this broader idea of corruption in football. with more money coming in over the years, it has become more attractive to people looking to make fast money. you only hear about things at the top level of sport, but further down the levels that is where the real corruption seems to happen. find levels that is where the real corruption seems to happen. and it is in one of— corruption seems to happen. and it is in one of those _ corruption seems to happen. and it is in one of those lower _ corruption seems to happen. and it is in one of those lower leagues - is in one of those lower leagues that we get a tip—off. it is about a new striker playing for a club in wales. he's just arrived at llanelli town from italy, and we were told he may have links with professional match fixers. 22—year—old emile n'goy is originally from the democratic republic of congo. he grew up in france and has played football in portugal and italy. 0ur undercover journalists are going to a llanelli match where they hope to meet emile
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to find out more. what is your name? what are your predictions? they exchange phone numbers and meet up again a few weeks later. the undercover journalist tells emile he's looking for investment opportunities for illicit black market funds. you know there is a lot of black money. you know what i'm saying? so emile says he'll talk to his brother about it. a week later,emile has news. he's got trials at another club. emile does leave llanelli
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for a new club, but he ends up playing in scotland. they've told him they represent overseas businessmen who want to invest illegal black market money into football before. they also plan to bring up betting on football and fixing. and at that point, emile should walk away. professional footballers are forbidden from even entering into discussions about it. we are looking to find clubs and fine players who can arrange in a match the number of free kicks, you
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understand? paying players to deliberately make corners, free kicks and throw—ins happen is illegal. it's called spot fixing. but what does it actually involve? if this was a real match, i could go on my phone and bet on the outcome of the game. but crucially, i could also bet on moments in the game as it happens. like the number of yellow cards, and if a player will be sent off. i could bet on the number of corners there might be in the first half, even perhaps how many throw—ins there will be in, say, the first five minutes of the game.
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it's notjust punters who can place these bets. criminal gangs around the world also want a piece of this billion—dollar action. but the key thing is, the criminals aren't gambling. they know what's going to happen because they've paid off players or officials to do exactly what they want. it's called fixing, and they can't lose. while the criminals ensure the odds are stacked in their favour, they can leave traces of evidence. a team of investigators brought in by football authorities in ukraine were successful in uncovering allegations of a multi—million pound operation. before the war with russia, i met the man in charge. we are investigating about the past of the football player, we are
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investing investigating about the country, the city, the club, but the starting point is the movement of the odds. you cannot fix a match without giving evidence. when in the stock market something goes wrong, the price of the shares immediately go down or go up and it means that something big is happening. it is the same with this. it means someone is betting a lot of money because they know how the match is going to finish. we asked francesco to analyse the movement of odds in a number of games involving welsh league teams over three years. have you seen suspicious betting patterns in wales as well in the last period? to be honest, yes. francesco has found two matches, both involving llanelli town, that he thinks should have alerted the authorities.
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suddenly this regular progression became any regular progression stop even though the score was 0—0? there was a heavy bit. fin even though the score was 0-0? there was a heavy bit-— was a heavy bit. on the away team to win. but you could, i suppose, just argue, well, that's because they were playing a lot stronger. the statistics are not like this. it is absolutely irregular. looking at the statistics, you would say this was a very suspicious match. yes, of course. there's no evidence that llanelli town was involved in fixing. the football association of wales told us that sports radar, which monitors betting patterns, didn't find any integrity concerns with the two llanelli matches. but betting irregularities at matches aren't proof of fixing on their own. 0ur undercover journalists are continuing to gather evidence against former llanelli player emile
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n'goy. fixing has already been discussed and now he suggests another meeting.
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he has delivered on his promise and his brother has got in touch and he wants to meet us.
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how many players do we need in the team? they discuss with hermes legitimate ways to make money in football and also how to make money illegally from fixing in matches. he calls this a black strategy.
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hermes says he will find the players who can fix in the lower leagues of europe, where there's less scrutiny. in ukraine, football authorities brought francesco baranca's team in to tackle this very problem. so they deliberately avoid the big competitions, because those are monitored.
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francesco's taking me to see one of those minor matches he says could be more vulnerable to fixers. in an effort to tackle fixing, authorities here have made it illegal for smaller games like this to be offered live on betting markets without a licence. but some unregulated companies try to get around it. they pay people called data scouts, who go to matches and send them live information, which can include covertly filming games. so what can you tell us about this game? has it been offered on the...?
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the concern is because it's being offered live, this game might now be vulnerable to fixers. francesco's team have spotted a man acting suspiciously. they've noticed a phone in his coat pocket and they think he's illegally using it to film the match live for betting companies.
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but he doesn't go far. and they believe he's still sending data from just outside the ground. but there's nothing more they can do. he says he's doing nothing illegal, and it's all for his own personal use. and of course, it doesn't necessarily mean that this game is fixed. why are the lower leagues potentially vulnerable to corruption? because there's less scrutiny at that level. i mean, although football is the richest sport in the world, the governing bodies and the different national associations have a realjob to have the funding, the time, the general resource to deal with every single level.
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footballing authorities sometimes find it difficult to monitor fixing, but fifa and uefa have warned of the dangers it poses. recognise, resist, report. but is that message getting through? 0ur undercover journalists have heard back from the recruiter, hermes. he's got players willing to fix. and they're prepared to meet. hermes and his brother emile have now found three other players who they say want to get involved in the spot fixing scheme. the players are from france and belgium and one says he's had trials for a uk club in the lower levels of english football. all three footballers have been given the chance to walk away, but they seem happy to stay. and the conversation soon turns
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to the players' payment. they then discuss how much extra the players could expect forfixing moments in a match.
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the players are eager to cash in, and they make an admission.
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emile, who's played for teams in england, scotland and wales, is the only footballer in the room saying he hasn't fixed before. hermes says that players in those two key positions would help make the plan work. hermes has managed to find players willing to illegally spot fix, despite the fact they could face serious repercussions.
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we want to find out more about this secretive world, and we've made contact with a convicted match fixer, and he's agreed to meet me in frankfurt. hello. it's good to see you. mario verta was caught in 2009, not by footballing authorities, but by police investigating an organised crime gang, who happened to hear someone talking about match fixing on a phone tap. mario claims that of the 60 matches he admits he fixed, none were flagged by football authorities as suspicious.
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it's been several weeks since our undercover team met bangor city's owner, domenico serafino, in italy. it's been three months since our undercoverjournalists met with hermes n'goy, who claims to have been a football agent. hermes outlines how much the players should be paid forfixing during the game.
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hermes also tells us how much he expects to be paid approximately. with expenses, he's asking for nearly 140,000 euros a year. he also suggests bringing in two more people to help run the fixing operation. and one of them is a former senior member of staff at the top italian club, ac milan.
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in order to make the plan work, they've discussed buying a club in italy where the players can fix. the deal is done. the next time he sees us, he's expecting us to show up with the cash. terry steans worked as an investigator for fifa with responsibility for rooting out corruption and fixing across the world. we asked him to examine the undercoverfootage. the fact that they're there,
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the fact they're listening and they're agreeing to what's been proposed, again, they shouldn't be there and they shouldn't be even listening to that kind of chat. so that's evidence in itself, that they're in the room, that they're willing to take part. and he's got players on board like minded that will do what he wants them to do already. so, yeah, ithink he's deadly serious. it's one of the hardest things to investigate, without the full weight of a police force behind you, with the tools. it's about the ability to go after these people and follow the money right to the end. kevin carpenter is a lawyer specialising in sports integrity and he has advised football authorities across europe.
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you're talking long bans. long bans. years. so essentially the end of their career. of course, in football, your career is relatively short. we contacted all three players. none of them responded. but hermes told us that they too strongly denied doing anything illegal. do you have any response about willing to pay players for match fixing? no. through your brother who is a footballer, you have not been involved? me is a footballer, you have not been involved? ~ ., , is a footballer, you have not been involved? ~ . , , ., ., involved? me and my brother have never been — involved? me and my brother have never been involved. _ involved? me and my brother have never been involved. fixing? - involved? me and my brother have i never been involved. fixing? nothing at all? so have _ never been involved. fixing? nothing at all? so have you _ never been involved. fixing? nothing at all? so have you been _ never been involved. fixing? nothing at all? so have you been discussing l at all? so have you been discussing with some players may be to take a red card, a yellow card, corners? 500 euros for a red card? you might
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know. you have never done this before? i know. you have never done this before? ., �* ~ ., ., know. you have never done this before? ~ ., ., ., before? i don't know what you are talkin: before? i don't know what you are talking about. _ before? i don't know what you are talking about. so _ before? i don't know what you are talking about. so you _ before? i don't know what you are talking about. so you have - before? i don't know what you are talking about. so you have no - talking about. so you have no recollection? _ talking about. so you have no recollection? thank _ talking about. so you have no recollection? thank you, - talking about. so you have no recollection? thank you, let i talking about. so you have no i recollection? thank you, let me talking about. so you have no - recollection? thank you, let me go back home- — recollection? thank you, let me go back home. do _ recollection? thank you, let me go back home. do you _ recollection? thank you, let me go back home. do you deny _ recollection? thank you, let me go back home. do you deny it - recollection? thank you, let me go back home. do you deny it all? - recollection? thank you, let me go back home. do you deny it all? ? l back home. do you deny it all? ? hermes later _ back home. do you deny it all? ? hermes later contacted - back home. do you deny it all? ? hermes later contacted us - back home. do you deny it all? ? hermes later contacted us and i back home. do you deny it all? ? l hermes later contacted us and told as a game that he and his brother strongly denied doing anything illegal. football is loved around the world, but we have shown how easily the beautiful game can be tainted by the ugly side of the sport. expect an afternoon of sunshine and showers for many of us. not all of us will see them, but if you do
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catch one, it could be heavy, possibly even thundery later on in the day. we have already seen some sharp showers across the north coast, but some of them will move further inland as we go through the afternoon and the skies will cloud over a little. a brisk northerly breeze will make it feel disappointingly cool for the time of year as well. top temperatures ranging from nine to 16 degrees in the far south. it is a similar story as we move into monday. the wind direction perhaps more of a north—westerly and that means more frequent showers in the west to begin with, pushing further inland through the afternoon and temperatures a similar feel, around 11 to 17 degrees. as we move into ii to 17 degrees. as we move into tuesday, we will see some further showers developing in the far north—west, but a little bit warmer and a little bit drier across england.
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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. anger at the treatment of fans at the champions league final in paris. the match is delayed. some supporters claim they were tear gassed and prevented from entering the ground. real madrid win the match, after a 1—0 victory over liverpool. the spanish football side take the title for a record 14th time. heavy fighting is continuing in eastern ukraine, where russian forces are trying to capture the city of severodonetsk. the russian ambassador to the uk tells the bbc that moscow will not use tactical nuclear weapons in the battle for ukraine. we have very strict provision on the issues on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and it is mainly when the existence of the state is in danger.
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president biden renews his appeal for tighter gun

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