Romania: First country to ever be kicked out of Eurovision
Romania has become the first country ever to be kicked out of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The country was expelled less than a month before the competition is due to start because its national broadcaster, TVR, had failed to maintain payments to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), who organise the contest.
With one of strongest records in the competition (it has qualified to the final every time it has taken part), the EBU has claimed Romania has failed to make payments as far back as 2007.
TVR is the only broadcaster in the country that is a member of the EBU and has been told it cannot return until its debts have been paid. This could mean the country is unrepresented at the contest for a number of years.
The nation was due to be represented by Ovidiu Anton, singing a pop-rock song called Moment of Silence.
In a statement about its decision, the EBU said: “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.”
The Metro has reported that Swedish hosts, SVT, said although the removal at a late stage was disruptive it would not “negatively affect” the contest in any way.
Romania has been a strong competitor in Eurovision since it first took part in 1994 and has finished in the top 10 five times.
In 2005 and 2010 it came third and in 2006 finished fourth with the entry becoming one of the biggest songs of that summer.