Earlier this month, Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group Chairman Frank-Dieter Freiling told several German media outlets that it’s likely both the Ukrainian and Russian broadcasters will have sanctions brought against them following their Eurovision 2017 spat over Julia Samoylova. In practice that could mean anything from a financial penalty to a ban of up to three years.

Speaking to Eurovision.de on Friday, Freiling said that the feud between the two countries will be a main point of discussion during the next Reference Group meeting on June 12. He said:

“There was a propaganda war between both sides, especially as the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian secret service let themselves get caught in a media trap from the Russian side. In the end, the broadcaster had to decide: go against their own people or against their international partners. The non-awarding of a visa to the Russian candidate was a popular choice for the [Ukrainian] people.”

Freiling defended the position of the Reference Group in the conflict:

“We tried to turn the process… and we threatened sanctions. But the host broadcaster had no choice in the end but to follow the political institutions, including the president and the secret service.” 

Freiling said that Ukraine broke host statutes by not making sure that every country and artist would be able to participate. And the Russian broadcaster isn’t getting off scot-free either. They didn’t show up to the compulsory HoD meetings earlier in the year — another statute violation that the reference group intends to sanction.

But what form will the sanctions take? Freiling did not want to speculate, but he did discuss the available options. “Our statutes provide for a number of violations, from a fine, the withdrawal of sponsor’s funding, to a suspension of up to three years.” Next to that, he said:

“We don’t sanction broadcasters, without their wrongdoings… For the Ukrainian hosts, it will be about the clear breach of contracts and we will discuss that in the next Reference Group meeting on June 12.”

What do you think of a potential three-year ban? Should the host broadcaster be punished for the government’s rules? Should Russia be held accountable for setting up a so-called “media trap”? Let us know in the comments box below.

Total
1
Shares
51 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AndersP
AndersP
6 years ago

What ever came of this? It’s almost July and there’s been no comment.

DyGh
DyGh
6 years ago

You can’t blame Ukraine for the “trap”. You have to ask yourself: “What would my country do?” They had to chose between their own people and their enemy… i think it’s clear what you would have done.

Swish Swish Bish
Swish Swish Bish
6 years ago

I hope the EBU grows some teeth like this organization: http://www.espn.com/sports/tennis/news/story?id=3922734

Swish Swish Bish
Swish Swish Bish
6 years ago

And lastly, hope all host countries are as gracious as the South Koreans, allowing their decades-old enemy to enter & allowed to compete to build goodwill: http://www.newsweek.com/north-korea-south-korea-buffer-zone-winter-olympics-612155

CJGE
CJGE
6 years ago

Even though I’m on Russia’s side, I still do believe that both countries should get sanctioned. Ukraine: They hosted a great show. The preparations were successful. However they did not let an artist inside the host country, which again is the first time it happened to the contest. Russia: Being on Russia’s side, I had some time to think why people are on Ukraine’s side. Now I understand. As per what the Ukrainian government said, “Their purpose was not to compete. Their purpose was to create a negative atmosphere.”. I get the reason why they would say that. Now, if… Read more »

Fognazzori
Fognazzori
6 years ago

Don’t believe in rumors and conjectures! Comply with the law!
Ban and sanction aggressive and racist Armenia and Russia perpetually unless they stop their occupation of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine according to the UN and EU directives!

cheesecake
cheesecake
6 years ago

I would be very surprised if they actually banned one (or even both) of them.

Volodymyr Sytnyk
Volodymyr Sytnyk
6 years ago

I don’t understand why Ukraine has to get sanctioned by EBU. That’s so absurd to me! Samoilova broke Ukrainian law by illegally entering Ukrainian Crimean peninsula therefore she is banned from travelling to Ukraine for three years. Period. Russia, on the other hand, has to be sanctioned for not broadcasting the contest this year. That seems very fair to me! If EBU bans Ukraine from Eurovision I would have no desire to watch it. Hope EBU has some common sense!

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago

The hosting broadcaster agrees to let ALL country delegates participate. “Period”, as you say. Ukraine flagrantly violated that rule of hosting Eurovision. Ukraine is now the first hosting country in HISTORY (over 6 decades of history) to refuse to let all country delegates participate. Period. There have been Literal Fascist Regimes hosting this Contest in the past, and yet Not Even One of them ever did what Ukraine did this year. There have been dozens of governments with ludicrous “laws” and active political hatreds, up to and including ongoing mutual terrorism, and yet Not Even One of them ever did… Read more »

mehm can
mehm can
6 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

”to refuse to let all country delegates participate. Period.”

Russian delegation was welcomed in Ukraine, not Yulia.
Russia did not wanted to participate and created on purpose that drama.
I team nobody, but is naive not to see the whole picture.
Russia deserves an award for ”the best original script”.
You are supposed to enjoy it, not take it so seriously.

mehm can
mehm can
6 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

Remember that Russia is the country where a political debate/talk show is a failure if the guests are not throwing water at each other or even fight physically.
So yes, Russia likes all this Eurovision drama, they struggled so much to create it.
You need to stop being so boring.

VolodymyrSytnykIsJoking
VolodymyrSytnykIsJoking
6 years ago

Ukraine must be sanctioned undoubtedly. Forever. First of all Ukraine must have been banned in 2016 for a definitely political song and never host the contest as consequence. Secondly. Samoilova has never crossed the border of Ukraine since she was travelling inside her country. The name of her country is Russia. Crimea is a part of Russia if something and there is nothing you can do abou it. And after Samoilova has been banned Ukraine is banning more and more Russian artists. One or two of them every day. Not before Juiia had been banned but after that. Probably there… Read more »

Carin Trano
Carin Trano
6 years ago

I totally agree, Volodymyr- i will also be very surprised if Ukraine is banned! And very sad 🙁

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

Ukraine hosts the contest, and they get rewarded by being banned from said contest. Sounds like a bad idea to me.

Also, I still think Russia should’ve been able to select a contestant that didn’t violate Ukrainian law. If they could host the contest back in 2009 with an enormous stage and everything, there’s no reason they couldn’t conduct a thorough search for such a contestant. The Russian TV station was either incompetent, lazy, or playing politics.

Astrelle
Astrelle
6 years ago
Reply to  Alex

“Also, I still think Russia should’ve been able to select a contestant that didn’t violate Ukrainian law”
I don’t think there’s any Russian artist who could possibly avoid sanctions from Ukrainian side. BTW, they haven’t banned the artists who had participated in the same Crimean concert with Julia. And they haven’t banned Artsvik or Kristian who also entered Crimea “from the wrong side”. I guess the Ukrainian government would find the reason to ban anyone who’d represent Russia

Frédéric
Frédéric
6 years ago

Totally with @Polegend Godgarina & Chicken Kyiv on this one. Considering that both are among the nations with rather intriguing entries, a ban would mean more than a financial loss. After all it seems that both parties weren’t too keen on Russia participating, so the issue doesn’t necessarily deserve much more attention now. Fine anybody – I don’t mind, but this is really getting tiresome.

Grete Paia
Grete Paia
6 years ago

Russian govt trolls incoming

Ern
Ern
6 years ago

The ONLY sanction these two countries will get is a warning. Nothing more.

fastfoodmusiclover
fastfoodmusiclover
6 years ago

i don’t wanna see both banned for 3 years. 🙁 maybe EBU can flip a coin and let the fate decides who should continue participating and who should take a time off.

Chicken Kyiv???
Chicken Kyiv???
6 years ago

The ebu likes money. If they kicked Ukraine and Russia out they would get less money. If they fine them they will take in more money so guess which one the ebu will pick

Alex
Alex
6 years ago

This is probably the best analysis of the situation

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago

Pretty much.

I’d be fine with banning both of them for a year, and telling them to get over their never-ending petty tantrums, but that would have a large cost measurable in money, so the EBU is unlikely to go that route.

blondboybc
blondboybc
6 years ago

They should both be booted for a couple years to teach them a valuable lesson in sportsmanship, decency and common sense. However, not holding my breath on this. May end up paying some fine or financial penalty. Do the right thing EBU. Send them a clear message by banning them for a year or two. Namaste. 🙂

Catherine
Catherine
6 years ago

Don’t let country to participate it’s breaking EBU’s rules, it’s absolutely against Eurovision’s ideals. Rules must be the same without any dobt, you all hate Russia, but rules must be the same, Russia did’t break EBU’rules, Ukraine did. Don’t let double standarts. I can’t imagine something worse than Ukraine did. Why Romania was bun in 2016 only for money debt? Ideals for sale? Of course Ukraine must be bun. For 3 year law, for 1 year clearly, because they was reason Russia withdrew. Eye for an eye.

Im like wooof
Im like wooof
6 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

But channel one from russia breaking Ukrainian law first. So over of this kind of drama put on spotlight in esc every year.
Ebu please do something.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago
Reply to  Im like wooof

Both of them getting banned would be fair. The Ukrainian government effectively ran the Ukrainian hosting, and didn’t even try to live up to the agreements that the hosting broadcaster made. Conversely, the Russian government effectively ran the Russian selection process, and didn’t even try to live up to the meetings and commitments that guest countries are expected to abide by.

Alex
Alex
6 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

Russia DID break a rule. They didn’t attend the mandatory HoD meeting.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago
Reply to  Alex

Agreed. Even worse: Russia didn’t broadcast the performance, which looks like it cost well over 10 million viewers to the EBU. Both countries fully deserve sanction. Especially because they keep pouting and throwing tantrums and making this a problem for the Contest, year after year. Armenia at least had the decency and grace to not try to send an act to Baku 2012. (Azerbaijan also has arbitrary and whimsical “laws” that would have automatically banned pretty much any attempted Armenian entry.) Unfortunately, the Russian government enjoys poking a stick in the eye too much to have been similarly graceful in… Read more »

Volodymyr Sytnyk
Volodymyr Sytnyk
6 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

Learn English first and then try writing a comment. Okay? All participants of any event that takes place in Ukraine must abide by Ukrainian laws. Samoilova broke it. She was banned from entering the country. End of the story!

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago

And all hosts agree to rules to make certain that all countries can participate, and the Ukrainian broadcaster broke those rules. “End of the story!”, as you say.

Skimur
Skimur
6 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

Laws of the host country >> rules of the EBU, ” end of a story”.

Skimur
Skimur
6 years ago
Reply to  Catherine

Ukraine missed 1 year because of Russia in 2015, so “eye for an eye” already done.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
6 years ago

Let me tell you how it’ll end: a nominal fine of a few thousand euros for both, and nothing else. No one will be banned.

vf99
vf99
6 years ago

Bitches better not sanction Ukraine

Melissa J
Melissa J
6 years ago

Russia knew exactly what they were doing. They played Julia so that they could have the chance to make Ukraine look bad. Ukraine has laws, every countries has laws. If other sporting leagues and international events have to follow local laws, then why would those laws be suspended for Eurovision? It’s only Russia’s fault in this case.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago
Reply to  Melissa J

Ukraine’s “laws” in this regard are equally as ridiculous as Azerbaijan’s “laws” back in 2012 regarding Armenians, equally as ridiculous as Lebanon’s “laws” regarding Israelis (which have kept Lebanon out of the Contest year after year after year), equally as ridiculous as North Korea’s “laws” regarding almost everything, and equally as ridiculous as Russia’s “laws” regarding “gay propaganda”. Any corrupt government anywhere can make any ridiculous “law” they want, and then flounce about and clutch their pearls and shriek about “our law has been violated!!!1!eleven!!”. Not all “laws” are deserving of respect. The Ukrainian “law” in question is ridiculously sweeping,… Read more »

Swish Swish Bish
Swish Swish Bish
6 years ago
Reply to  Melissa J

Sporting events do bend local laws to accomodate participation of the athletes. For example, when a tennis tournament was held in Dubai (UAE), according to local law, no Israeli can set foot in Dubai. The tennis federation got upset & fined Dubai. The next year, the Israeli athlete was allowed to compete in Dubai despite a law banning entry of Israeli passport holders to Dubai. So, local laws does get bent for international tournaments. Read also the European Games where Azerbaijan allowed the entry of Armenian athletes to Baku despite their official ban of entry for all Armenian passport holders.… Read more »

Skimur
Skimur
6 years ago

Different situation. Your samples are about nationality bans, Samoilova had ban for law violation.

Lisboa 2018
6 years ago

Stop this “EURODRAMA”

Anastasia K
6 years ago

I think that only Ukraine deserves punishment. Do you remember last year? You remember who was to win and for whom all of Europe voted? Do you remember that you won last year? But now what do we see? The EBU has deliberately violated its rules and the feeling that they do not even know them. They missed a political song, they gave it a victory, they went on about Ukraine, not letting Julia Samoilova. So Ukraine is to blame, but where is Russia? Russia has not even broken a single rule, but on the contrary, the injured party. The… Read more »

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago
Reply to  Anastasia K

Russia broke *several* other rules.

Russia skipped several Head of Delegation requirements, which were not optional. And then Russia refused to broadcast the Contest, which is exactly as much a violation of the rules as Ukraine refusing to let a country’s entrant participate.

If Ukraine deserves severe sanction for their rules violations (and I am highly sympathetic to that argument), then Russia also deserves severe sanction for their rules violations.

Ern
Ern
6 years ago

“…Ukraine broke host statutes by not making sure that every country and artist would be able to participate”

No! The EBU dropped the ball by playing willfully blind to the political situation. As enraged as I am by the Ukraine’s actions, this is primarily the fault of the EBU.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
6 years ago
Reply to  Ern

Exactly, it’s all EBU’s fault here. They should’ve made sure to tell Russia not to send an artist who had broken their law in advance. Of course they didn’t, so Russia thought they were slick.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago

That was roughly the EBU’s 4th massive mistake, not their first. 1) They let Ukraine send a nakedly political song in 2016. Other than the title “1944”, there is literally NOTHING about the performance that Ukraine sent in 2016 that indicates that it is about anything other than the present day political situation. This wasn’t “Lasha Tumbai” tongue-in-cheek “mispronunciation”, this was straight-up slagging soldiers in Crimea, period, with no further context in the song. 2) The EBU at minimum let (and at worst encouraged) juries to vote politically against Russia and in favor of Ukraine, without consequence. Far too many… Read more »

zoolander
zoolander
6 years ago
Reply to  Darth Thulhu

EBU first failed by not banning Russia in 2014. It is simply impossible for countries at war to have mutual goodwill for the sake of a singing competition. Killing ones neighbors is not building bridges and hence an act of war should be enough grounds to ban anyone from the contest.

Joseph
Joseph
6 years ago
Reply to  zoolander

Really the EBU doesnt have a prescedent of denying an entrie for politics reasons as they let in Armenia and Azebaijan even as both at declared war, and they also let in the franco spain in middle of a racist not violent war, so technically for the crimea incident they cannot ban russia

Jo
Jo
6 years ago

EBU prolonging this drama just makes me think they actually like it.

adriana
adriana
6 years ago

Both Russia and Ukraine should be banned ,till they sort their mess out.Im tired of these two countries using this competition as a battle war.Armenia and Azer could have done the same but they didn`t .

James
James
6 years ago

Ukraine deserves the ban more than Russia does, honestly, they would’ve done anything to make sure they weren’t able to participate. Its pettiness of the lowest form. Russia withdrew, therefore they should not be banned next year, they have taken their punishment. Ukraine, see you in a few years.

Darth Thulhu
Darth Thulhu
6 years ago
Reply to  James

Russia didn’t broadcast the contest, though, which is further rule-breaking that invites further punishment.

Nobody is covering themselves in any glory, in this.