On February 27th 2019, forty two countries, became forty one as Ukraine announced it would withdraw from the Eurovision Song contest "due to excessive politicisation of the national selection". MARUV who won Vibdir 2019 had opted not represent her country, after she felt that she was being used as a political pawn, and that the terms imposed on her were too harsh. The saga continued as other artists who came second, and third (Freedom Jazz, Kazka, and Brunettes Shoot Blondes) also refused to be drawn in. They also refused to represent Ukraine. Soon after the decision was made to withdraw.
Although being very amicable the European Broadcasting Union sadly accepted this, and hoped to see the country back at the competition in 2020. However, recently the question of whether the country would or would not be sanctioned has recently been raised. Check out Eurovoxx discussing Ukraine below.
According to the Russian news agency TASS, when the EBU Senior Communications Officer Dave Goodman was asked if Ukraine would be fined or sanctioned in regards to its withdrawal from the contest. He stated that it would be after the contest that this issue would be discussed. Instead he added that:
"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".
Mr Goodman also went on to add that any decisions, if there were to be any made against Ukraine would be discussed with the ESC Reference group, which generally meet several times a year. His focus was on, "welcoming all the participating countries to Tel Aviv in May".
This year's contest will be held in Tel Aviv this May, and will see 41 countries compete to try and be Europe's best. Unfortunately, the end of the Eurovision national final season had been marred over the politicisation of the Ukraine national final. There is bound to be more to this story as the months go on. Stay tuned for this.
Were you a fan of MARUV's song? Do you think it would have placed well? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below.