Romania have sensationally been kicked out of the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 after a dispute in paying participation fees dating back to 2007.
The European Broadcasting Union today decided to remove Romania from Eurovision. To participate in Eurovision, all countries who enter must pay the EBU a participation fee to go towards the running of the show itself. However, since 2007 Romania have missed a number of payments and the EBU have now decided to withdraw the country just weeks before the finals were due to begin.
It is the first time a country has ever been made to withdraw from Eurovision in the shows 61 year history.
Romania were due to perform in the second semi final on Thursday May 12th, with an entry expected to qualify and do well in the Grand Final on Saturday May 14th. The country has an impressive 100% qualification record for the Grand Finals.
The entry, “Moment of Silence” was tipped to do well at this years competition and the performing artist Ovidiu Anton is said to be heartbroken over the decision.
Watch the cancelled Romanian entry below:
The running order for the semi final in which Romania were set to appear will not be re-cast, after producers recently decided the order themselves. Eurovision Executive Jon Ola Sand has stated “‘This is of course disappointing for the artist chosen to represent Romania, for our colleagues at TVR who have prepared their participation so well this year and, not least, for Romanian viewers and the many Eurovision fans in the country… As with all participants, SVT has been preparing for Romania’s act thoroughly over the past weeks. To take an act out at such late stage is of course a little disruptive, but it will not negatively affect the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in any other way.”
The EBU said: “TVR will now no longer be able to participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and will lose access to other EBU member services including the Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges, the right to broadcast specific sporting events, legal, technical and research expertise and lobbying services.”
The EBU has been criticised for a number of years for appearing to become too money hungry, after allowing countries such as Australia to perform, with China heavily rumoured to be given an invitation to perform in the next couple of years.
Eurovision 2016 kicks off on Tuesday May 10th at the Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden after Mans Zelmerlow stormed to victory in Vienna last year with the song Heroes which features spectacular projection staging. Zelmerlow will co-host the finals along with Petra Mede, a much loved Swedish host.