Romania disqualified from Eurovision after broadcaster fails to pay fee
Ireland's Nicky Byrne will benefit, as country was due to perform in same semi final
Published 22/04/2016 | 10:35
ROMANIA has been disqualified from the Eurovision after the country's broadcaster failed to pay the necessary fees to organisers.
The 2016 Eurovision takes place next month in Stockholm, Sweden.
The EBU, the body responsible for organising the contest, announced this morning that they had disqualified Romania over failure to pay its debts to the group.
In a statement it said: "The EBU has withdrawn member services from Romanian public service broadcaster Televiziunea Română (TVR) following the non-payment of debts totalling CHF 16 million (€3.57m).
"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."
It confirmed that the country's act would no longer be allowed perform at Eurovision and that the broadcast signal for the event would not be sent to Romania.
Romania's misfortune might be to Ireland's benefit however - as the country was also performing in Nicky Byrne's second semi final.
It means one less country is competing for the final ten slots. Romania has never failed to qualify from the semi final.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre said: "It is regrettable that we are forced to take this action. We are disappointed that all our attempts to resolve this matter have received no response from the Romanian government.
"In recent weeks the EBU has taken note of the Ministry of Finance’s suggestion that TVR may be placed into insolvency proceedings which may in turn lead to a profound restructuring of the broadcaster.
"The EBU is a not-for-profit association which represents 73 Public Service Broadcasters in 56 countries. The continued indebtedness of TVR jeopardizes the financial stability of the EBU itself."
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said: "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."