In an interview with AD.nl, Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, has opened up about the possibility that Morocco could return to the Contest in the future. The country only participated once in 1980 but conversations have been ongoing with broadcasters in the region.
“We do have conversations with Morocco”
During the AD.nl interview, Jon Ola Sand confirmed that the EBU has been having conversations with Morocco. When asked about the possibility of these countries participating, he mentioned that Morocco along with other North African and Middle Eastern countries which are members of the EBU, such as Jordan, Algeria and Lebanon, would make the contest more varied.
“We have 41 participating countries [in 2020] and would be at our limit with 44. We just don’t get a bigger festival organized in one year.
For now, I have no signals from the [region]. I personally would be in favour of it as it would make the contest more varied.
We do have conversations with Morocco. Of course, they have already taken part and may be in favour again. So far, I have never had to say no to an EBU member who wanted to [join the Contest].”Jon Ola Sand on participation of Morocco and Middle Eastern countries (translated)
It’s also worth noting that this is not the first time that either North African or Middle Eastern countries tried to participate. In 2005, Lebanon was set to debut in the contest. However, they had to withdraw from the competition, as they were unable to show Israel’s performance. Tunisia had also intended to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977.
Morocco at the Eurovision Song Contest
Morocco’s sole participation at the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1980. They sent Samira Said with the song “Bitaqat Hub” (Love Card). To date, it is the only entry at the Contest to be performed entirely in Arabic. It was also the first to represent a geopolitically African country and to represent an Arab world country in the competition.
The entry finished in 18th place, second to last, scoring 7 points from Italy.
Do you think Morocco should return to the Eurovision Song Contest? Would you like to hear more entries from North Africa and the Arab world? What do you think of “Bitaqat Hub”? Let us know in the comments below and on social media @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the run-up to Rotterdam!