Following the withdrawal of Ukraine’s broadcaster UA:PBC from the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, the EBU announced there would be further discussions. Whilst ruling out a ban. Now it seems the possibility of a fine could be presented at the ESC Reference Group meeting after the contest in May.
The uncomfortable question of Ukraine
Over two weeks ago UA:PBC officially announced Ukraine’s withdrawal from the 2019 contest. Due to heavy politicization of the national selection. This followed a week of turmoil after MARUV had initially won the Vidbir 2019 selection. However the broadcaster revealed that winning did not guarantee a place in Tel Aviv and the winning act must sign a contract agreeing to their terms. Upon receiving the contract and making its conditions public, MARUV felt unable to accept the terms presented. After engaging in further discussions with other finalists, such as Freedom Jazz and KAZKA. No resolution could be found.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances of their withdrawal, the EBU were quick to allay social media fears of an impending ban. In fact the EBU openly welcomed Ukraine’s return to the contest in 2020 and stated no ban would be issued. As well as this, Ukraine also stated their aim to continue the national selection in 2020.
Could UA:PBC still face a sanction?
Although a ban was officially ruled out by the EBU, it was also stated further discussions between the EBU and UA:PBC on the matter would take place. Now it seems this will be tabled after the conclusion of the 2019 contest. Most likely during the first post-Eurovision meeting of the ESC Reference Group. This executive committee convenes at several meetings throughout the year to discuss all aspects of hosting, financing and decision making on behalf of all participating broadcasters.
The EBU and KAN are focused on making this year’s Eurovision Song Contest a truly spectacular event. Any further decisions on UA:PBC’s withdrawal will be made after the event. [Any decision will be be made] in consultation with the ESC Reference Group. In the meantime we look forward to welcoming all the participating countries to Tel Aviv in May.EBU Senior Communications Officer Dave Goodman
This reconfirms the EBU’s official statement on the matter. As well as presenting a possible timeline for when the discussions will take place. So for now the focus is on ensuring the Tel Aviv contest is allowed to shine and run smoothly.
Will Ukraine be sanctioned? Do you want to see them return in 2020? Let us know in the comments and on social media @ESCXTRA