Kyiv 2017

EBU reveals: “We have suitably penalised Russia for the Samoylova controversy”

You thought that the Russian 2017 participation controversy was over? Don’t be so silly! The Chairman of the Eurovision Reference Group, Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, has revealed that they have penalised the Russian broadcaster, Channel One.

Why now?

Just over a month ago, the Eurovision Reference Group fined the Ukrainian broadcaster, UA:PBC, for the same controversy. An EBU spokesperson said that the broadcaster drew attention away from the competition, and endangered Eurovision’s reputation.
This caused a lot of debate among fans; many believed that the Russian broadcaster deliberately chose Yulia Samoylova to provoke Ukraine. These fans say that Russia caused this controversy to create trouble for Ukraine (the current Russia-Ukraine political situation is…less than stellar), whilst making themselves appear as victims.

Now, Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling has revealed that Channel One did receive an undisclosed penalty.

“Russia has been called to order in a different way, but without making that public. Both parties involved have been commented on.”

What could the penalty be?

Freiling did not give any details on what the penalty is. However, the EBU have made it clear that they have many weapons; they have previously fined broadcasters (as they did with UA:PBC), and threatened to withdraw broadcasting rights for any Eurovision programmes.
The EBU did not reveal the amount that the Ukrainian broadcaster were given, but the head of UA:PBC disclosed on TV that the fine was up to €200,000. It is likely that the Russian broadcaster received a similar fine.

Further measures to stop history repeating itself

Just over a week ago, the EBU revealed new rules for the Eurovision Song Contest. Amongst these new rules is one clause that makes it clear: selected artists must not have broken the laws of the host county!

“Neither the selected artist nor any member of the delegation shall have any antecedents likely to prompt the host country’s national authorities to deny them access to the host country, in accordance with applicable national law.”

Hopefully, this means that the controversy this year is over, and we won’t have it ever happen again!
What do you think about the controversy? Are you on Ukraine’s side, Russia’s, or do you think both countries were in the wrong? Do you think the new rules are wise? Leave a comment below to let us know!

Luke Malam

I've watched Eurovision for as long as I can remember, but my interest really built in 2008, after I decided to watch the semifinals online, out of boredom, before the final...I was blown away by the quality of the show and have been hooked ever since! I'm a competitive trampolinist and I love baking. I've also just completed a master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London.

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