Ever since Israel’s Prime Minister made clear his intention to host Eurovision 2019 in Jerusalem, rumours have swirled that the EBU could strip the country of its hosting duties. The city’s status — both in international law and diplomatic practice — is disputed. And the recent violence in Gaza has only added strain to an already tense situation.
Take a peak in fan groups and on Twitter and you’ll see questions like: “Is it true Cyprus will host Eurovision 2019?” and “Could Germany host the contest next year?”
A Tweet sent out by the official Eurovision account on Tuesday sparked even more rumours and conspiracy theories. The Tweet, which you can read in full below, warned Eurovision fans not to buy plane tickets for the 2019 edition.
Are you already looking forward to next year’s #Eurovision? Us too! But don’t go booking your flights just yet, for official updates on where and when it’ll take place, keep an eye out for announcements on our official channels.
?: Thomas Hanses pic.twitter.com/O2sp3WOXvJ
— Eurovision (@Eurovision) May 22, 2018
A number of fans took that as a sign that the contest was being re-located to another country.
Israel Hayom newspaper reached out to KAN — the Israeli broadcaster — to ask about what it described as a “strange Tweet”.
“There is no problem or anything unusual,” the KAN statement reads. “No dates have been set or the city to host.”
The Tweet from the EBU likely came in response to misinformation that was being spread by tour operators and fans. The official account was simply issuing a sensible warning that fans should wait for official information before jumping the gun…and spending their money.
Many Israeli sites are delivering info including dates and location of the contest while EBU never confirmed that kind of info. Nothing more
— many ? (@m_a_ny) May 22, 2018
The dates of 21, 23 and 25 May were at one point inserted into Wikipedia — along with the fake news that Jerusalem had 100% been confirmed as host city. (At the moment Jerusalem is simply the Israeli government’s preferred city and it must be approved and confirmed by the EBU first). Some travel companies had also listed these dates on their web sites.
UPDATE @ 22:00 GMT: Shortly after we published this post, the EBU issued a statement to Israel’s Channel 10, explaining that neither the official dates nor the host city have been determined.
How did you interpret the Eurovision Tweet? Had you seen the “official dates” listed on any web sites previously? Let us know down below.