Romania has been expelled from the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest after its national broadcaster failed to pay debts of more than £11m.
The country’s chosen artist Ovidiu Anton was due to perform the song Moment Of Silence in the second semi-final of the contest, which will take place in Sweden on 12 May, but will no longer take part after Televiziunea Romana failed to meet a debt repayment deadline earlier this week.
The European Broadcasting Union has withdrawn member services from the broadcaster, which means “TVR will now no longer be able to participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and will lose access to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.”
“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,” said Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Executive Producer Martin Österdahl added: “We have been looking forward to welcoming the Romanian delegation to Stockholm. Now we are adjusting the rehearsal schedule and the starting order for the second Semi-Final and continue our work with the production of the 42 participating countries.”
Eurovision’s official 2016 album already contains Romania’s entry and the EBU has “decided to keep the digital download of the song available for download and streaming, as a courtesy to the artist.”
Here’s the song that would have represented Romania:
Eurovision Song Contest 2016 is on BBC1 on 14th June