He’s a Eurovision 2017 favourite who has raised awareness about the plight of asylum seekers by wearing an SOS Refugees sweatshirt in Kyiv.

And while the overwhelming majority of fans have applauded him for taking a stand, the European Broadcasting Union asked Portugal’s Salvador Sobral to stop wearing the statement jumper on Friday because, in their mind, it carries a political message.

Ms Carla Bugalho, the Portuguese Head of Delegation, confirmed to wiwibloggs on Saturday that the request has been made by the EBU. However, she denied other reports circulating on Eurovision fan sites that the EBU had formally banned the Portuguese entrant from wearing the top.

Although it is not an outright ban, Salvador remains disappointed by the EBU’s request.

Speaking exclusively to wiwibloggs, the Portuguese singer said: “This is not a political message — it is a humanitarian and essentially human message.”

He is not making any further comment at this stage and has agreed to abide by the EBU’s decision, in order to focus on the rehearsals ahead of tonight’s Grand Final.

Salvador used the semi-final 1 qualifiers’ press conference to explain the message behind his top.

“When I thought of coming here I immediately thought of the refugees because they are fleeing from death,” he said. “Make no mistake. These people are not immigrants — they are refugees, running away from death.”

“I can’t say that Europe isn’t making an effort. Everybody’s making an effort. But I feel like there is…so much bureaucratic stuff happening in the refugee camps in Greece, in Turkey, in Italy. We can diminish these bureaucratic services. They ask for birth certificates for people who just came in plastic boats…that’s just insane.”

Salvador’s speech was very well received by the media in Kyiv and beyond, making headlines around the globe.

“SOS Refugees” – a political message?

The EBU considers the “SOS Refugees” message and Sobral’s support of the refugee cause a bit risky. As per the European Broadcasting Union’s rulebook, political messages are forbidden in the contest and the EBU does not want to be accused of breaking their own rules by allowing a contestant to use their platform to promote a message that is not related to music or that could be misconstrued as political discourse.

No messages promoting any organization, institution, political cause or other, company, brand, products or services shall be allowed in the Shows and within any official ESC premises (i.e. at the venue, during the Opening Ceremony, the Eurovision village, the Press Centre, etc.). A breach of this rule may result in disqualification.

What do you think about EBU’s request to Salvador Sobral? Is “SOS Refugees” a political message or not? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

 

Total
1K
Shares
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Fatima
Guest
Fatima

Can Wiwibloggs do an “SOS Fireworks” tee-shirt? I’d wear that to Lisbon.

Strato Incendus
Guest
Strato Incendus

Eurovision, as much as it claims to be unpolitical, is certainly more left- than right-leaning. “Celebrate Diversity”, could there be a more left-wing slogan? And nowadays, apparently being pro-European is something “left” as well. Of course, one also has to keep in mind the huge LGBT fanbase. Hence, I sometimes tend to consider the victories of Dana International, Marija Serifovic, and Conchita Wurst as “victories on home ground”. Of course, these artists also had to convince televoters from more regressive nations, but overall, the average Eurovision viewer seems to be more “progressive” (both in the good and the bad sense… Read more »

it is political
Guest
it is political

it was all political. ever since i saw him wearing that crap, i knew he will win.

no it's not
Guest
no it's not

no it’s not. otherwise Kristian would have been kicked out because Kristian visited Crimea.

Arinna
Guest
Arinna

They couldn’t kick him out, because he was only a child there and the law about deportation was written 2015, an year after Kris was there.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

To be honest, if I were performing one of my songs at the Eurovision… I would try to avoid open Press Conferences altogether until it was all over. Sticking to the music should mean: sticking to the music. I couldn’t take the competition seriously otherwise. While Salvador is very honest and brave, he also has a double-standard. He effectively used his sister’s song to make a musical statement about the industry; that “real music” is not valued enough among the “fast food music” of today’s market. But if his true message was about the music, then why raise a separate… Read more »

Ana
Guest
Ana

Very political. Deserved to win, but distasteful to use the Eurovision for political messages, just as distasteful as it was to ban Russia.

Francis
Guest
Francis

Dear All,
I hope you will never experience war in your country. I hope you will always have money to pay your huge rent, a job, food, health, and someone to rely on when you will need.
Love from Portugal.

Sovrano
Guest
Sovrano

I have no problem with genuine refugees and raising awareness about them. However, the people coming to Europe during this migrant crisis are NOT refugees for the most part, only a fraction of them are. Sobral made a mistake about that and that makes it political – not the shirt itself.

Kingdom of Hayastan
Guest
Kingdom of Hayastan

Armenians are not Gypsies. Borat is not Armenian but Kazakh. Armenians are not trolls they are a good diaspora. Armenians are Whites and Aryans. Armenia is the mother of Europe. Russians and Ukrainians are Mongols. Israel and Turkey are not Europe. Azerbaijan is Negroid and not Europe.
Armenians are 1st Genocide of 6,5 millions dead. Armenians are 1st Christians. You are all children of King Hayes Hayastan 5000 B.C. See Bible.

Hartmut Noack
Guest
Hartmut Noack

The first christian kingdom was in Äthiopia.
The Russians are derived from slavic people mixed with scandinavian northern germans.
Azerbaidjan is turkish, Turks share the roots of their language with Japan.
Thre is no such thing as “negroid”.
Crawl back under your stone, brave arayan.

DyGh
Guest
DyGh

If there was a like button, I would press it for you so…
“like”

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

Technically it’s not political, we know the intentions are good but come on just stick to music man, so sick of these propaganda in Eurovision

Vanessa
Guest
Vanessa

the truth and histroy allways said that eurovision is political… half of the victorys were political.. see only the televotes and see how it is geographicaly and political.

Mikaya
Guest
Mikaya

honestly tho Vanessa, 1944 wouldn’t have won if the Jury didn’t vote it. and 1944 was the ONLY semi-political song in 2016. Also i feel most wins are more likely because the eastern countries stick together, shoving each other all those tasty 12 points… And then there’s the huge number of those east-europeans in the western countries, voting for their homeland. As i said in my other comment, the Voting is rigged, they tried something with the 50% Jury votes… but even that is rigged, should’ve just sticked with the old system, that at least made it pretty clear who… Read more »

DyGh
Guest
DyGh

The jury must be diffrent foor at least 2 years, of course they are not jumping on the stage.

Oto
Guest
Oto

For example Russia has no televoting so it is funny that they complain that Jamala won because of jury and that televoters liked Russia song more. If all countries had jury only as in Russia then it wouldn’t count. Isn’t it ironic?
It is a show and rules are the same for everyone it doesn’t matter who wins the battle jury+televoters votes which counts.

And I find “Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices” a more political and cynical as Russia starts a war and then sends a singer “of peace”. Very Orwelish like in novel 1984.

Sighie
Guest
Sighie

It’s too often like this. People wear statement t-shirts and such hijacking the press unintentionally or intentionally for their own attention, while the real victims embodying the message (Joci Papai for example) just get ignored while the bourgeoisie struts around in his/her shirt. 🙁

Mikaya
Guest
Mikaya

Sadly yes, they should both get ignored in the matter that it shouldn’t affect the voting. the ESC devolved into a stage where European countries vote for either

– biggest QQing
– Biggest payer
– weirdest Act
– Germany because they threat to not participate anymore

and very rarely…. Best Song.

Sure, the refugee stuff is bad, but the ESC originally was a Contest made after the war to hold a peaceful, politics-free contest of “best song”
Now it has become a Contest who can gather the most sympathy and is it enough to out-vote the East-block.

Vanessa
Guest
Vanessa

Many rumours that Portugal won jury vote. And that’s for sure, Portugal won Best singer and Best melody of the Eurovision, it is confirmed..

Mart
Guest
Mart

Portugal won the jury vote. Many rumours ans there news already about it.

Kai
Guest
Kai

i prefer that he only talk about it if he win…after the show at the press conference

João Neves
Guest
João Neves

Wasn’t there an interval act last year about the refugees??? Really well crafted, by the way. Why is this an issue now?

namaste-ale
Guest
namaste-ale

Stop with this nonsense…we have our own families to take care of, we just can’t take care of other families. If I want to take care of two families…I would divorce and remarry long ago.

Mikaya
Guest
Mikaya

Take a moment and think about this one thing: If you were that refugee, trying to get out of a country that any second you or your family can get killed in. Would you be happy to be sent back because you lack something as trivial as a Birth certificate? i don’t know where you’re from, but if a birth certificate is what allows one to stay in a country, then i. born and raised in Switzerland, Son of two Swiss Citizens so a full blood Swiss-dude… would have to be kicked out. I do not have a birth certificate.… Read more »

irada
Guest
irada

In my opinion isn`t political message. People should help other people. It`s ethical issue.

EBU didn`t disqualify Jamala who prepared political song although she sang it before 1 st September 2015. It was mistake. Salvador told about big humanitarian problem so chapeau bas.

Azzzul
Guest
Azzzul

Salvador, olha, conseguiste! Puseste as pessoas a falar na questão! 😀

Hey Salvador, see? You did it! People are talking about it 😀

Paul
Guest
Paul

Didn’t Sweden have an interpretive dance about refugees last year during the first semi final interval??!!

Rhingo
Guest
Rhingo

Used during the show it is a lip service about being aware and showing compassion. Simply a show. Used in the way Salvador does it can be interpretated as political message. Whatever Salvador says during Eurovision, EBU will have to answer for as well. The same way as they are blamed that ESC was politicized thanks to 1944 last year. It is only natural to play it save and ask Salvador to take down the sweatshirt. After the show he is free to spread his ideas as much as he want and no one will stop him. But seriously –… Read more »

hmm
Guest
hmm

Why Salvador is telling me that is my responsibility? I live in a room with a huge rent. Why my country’s government should care more about somebody from another continent, and why do they come to Europe in the first place?

Sweejane
Guest

He does not need this kind of attention. He earned the spotlight by his talent and not by this message. People are distortioning things. If Salvador wanted to call for atention he would make use of big acenarias on his song like others did. He would for instance take advantage of his sérios medical condition and he does not want to talk about. If people new that he is waiting for a heart transplant as his condition is serious and that he wears a pacemaker under his oversized shirts maybe they would understand that this guy with a ill heart… Read more »

Sweejane
Guest

You leave in a room. You have money to pay rent. The refugees have no room lost their houses, lost their families… their friends. They are living their countries not because they want to but because their villages are bombed. They do not have a place to go. They lost everything. They leave with hope of having a place where their children are not killed. If you suffer the same you would like to have a country to receive you.

Sweejane
Guest

This was reply to “hmm” and to everybody that feel threatened with the refugees

I love the monkey
Guest

Si claro que Eurovision es completamente política, o es que acaso los países del este de Europa, cuando eran comunistas concursaban?

S@g@
Guest

Salvador for president and Blanche for the win 😀

fan
Guest
fan

This guy is too opinionated, and a win for him would not be good for the eurovision song contest as a whole. It is a song contest not a party political broadcast!

Tom
Guest
Tom

And I guess Ukraine winning over Russia last year was not political at all…
Welldone Salvador, you really didn´t need to do this, which actually can make you lose votes…You are a wonderful human being.
Lisbon 2008 !!!

Tom
Guest
Tom

Lisbon 2018* !!!

Francis
Guest
Francis

Of course, just pretend that we all live in happy world and forget what is happening around you. Forget that you can actually make the difference.
It is so easy!

Yellowman
Guest

This is what Eurovision was created for in the first place by our founding fathers

Theytruth
Guest
Theytruth

Unfortunately I have to agree with the EBU. There’s a lot of countries who just don’t except refugees for their own reasons that can be discussed at a later time and place. I just know how my country would react if they saw Salvador the winner wearing that shirt it would just stir up more trouble

Michaela
Guest
Michaela

This is Eurovision SONG Contest not Eurovision Political contest… If you want share your opinions and wear shirts about refugees then do it after the show. He has nothing to do when his sister did all the job behing the staging etc.? I thought that he is a cool guy but I think he is really bored.

joao simoes
Guest
joao simoes

realy? is a song contest or is a act/pyro/bum catapum chim contest??

Justitia
Guest
Justitia

In Ukraine no one should criticise anyone. They won last year with a political song. This year they expelled the Russian entry for a political reason.

Alex
Guest
Alex

This is INDEED political, and even if I agree with that statement, I find what Salvador did very dull and fake. Eurovision is no place for ‘humanitarian’ or political statement. When someone refers to countries, it stops the statement itself from being non-political.

This is a place for music, guys. This is a place for music, Salvador. The non-fast food music you mentioned.

bo1612
Guest
bo1612

I think EBU has really double standards for some causes.There’s no problem showing the LGBT flag in the show,press conferences etc because it’s politically correct to defend it, but wearing a swetashirt asking for help for people that are fleeing from death it´s called “political”…maybe because it’a cause that no one wants to endorse.Shame on you EBU!!

Jerzz
Guest
Jerzz

What happen if Salvador will ban it from Eurovision Finals tonight due to political issues/problems? If so, I bet or not that Italy will win tonight.

Marlon
Guest
Marlon

Just because it is a political statement you agree with (and I do, for the most part), it is still a political statement. And I don’t mean his T-Shirt, but more what I said in the PK, which was not humanitarian because he was demanding unified laws.

MS
Guest
MS

WIwibloggs, do you want this blogg to become an arena to discuss politic? This question encurage that! I have my opinion but a leave that outside the ESC bubble!

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Hmm, difficult. I kind of understand the EBU, although I think it’s more of a humanitarian message.
Loved his comments, though. Everything he said was true.

Team Manel
Guest
Team Manel

Yes, but is a controversial message, and Europe is doing more than enough, after all, European resources are not unlimited, is actually a small continent and very crowded already (as always, because of the balanced climate).
This is why is a very sensible topic.

Davve
Guest
Davve

It is easy to be a celebrity and claim to be all for refugees. But it is us the regular average people that has to deal with all the bad consequences of bringing them in to Europe.

Lukewarm
Guest
Lukewarm

Do whatever you want after the contest. You will finish top 3 and people will follow you. Keep this out of ESC, it is a SONG contest.

Dani
Guest
Dani

Listen and enjoy Salvador Wurst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffqIa1L4TBE

get456
Guest
get456

well…who asked him? he is there to sing, not to wear shirts in order to be noticable by the viewers lol

Luka
Guest
Luka

Oh yes it is. An important message, anyway.
But Eurovision is not supposed to be about political issue. EBU is right.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

yeah its not political. its just an effort to attract attention to his entry.