Eurovision 2016 – Eurovision fans are still frustratedly watching events in Ukraine as the latest postponement of the announcement of the winning city has resulted in recriminations and accusations.
No-one could believe The EBU’s Jon Ola Sand last week when he announced they needed more time. Considering an hour earlier they were due to announce the winner, Eurovision fans are cynical as to the reason given for the latest postponement.
It appears funding is now not an an issue, so the main three concerns remaining appear to be proximity to the annexed Crimea, the provision of a suitable venue that does not need a lot of restoration work and many, internal Ukrainian politics. Odessa, which seemed to be the favourite last week, has issues with two of these matters.
It appears that the football UEFA Europa League draw may have also thrown a spanner in the works for Odessa. Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine have been drawn in are in Group A along with Manchester United (England), Feyenoord (Netherlands) and Fenerbahçe (Turkey). The problem is their old ground was bombed and they are currently playing at Odessa’s Chornomorets stadium. The rules for the Football mean they must host all their home games there unless there are extreme circumstances… meaning the work required to install a roof as proposed to the EBU for the Song Contest venue may not be able to take place in time. If by some miracle Zorya Luhansk qualified for the group (very unlikely, but possible), it would mess everything up.
Since the latest postponement, many Ukrainian politicians have voiced their anger and concern about the continued delays.
Vitali Klitschko, the Mayor of Kyiv has called for full transparency on the criteria and how the city will be chosen and said on his blog ‘No games are worth the reputation of the country’. This seems to have fallen on deaf ears however as the leader of the leader of the Za zhittya political party, Vadim Rabinovich, had now added fuel to the fire effectively blackmailing Prime-Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groismanby, saying he and other MPs will not vote for any of the president’s proposed laws unless the contest is awarded to Odessa.
Who says Eurovision isn’t political?!
Culture Minister of Ukraine Ievhen Nyshchuk says that they now hope to announce the winning city at the beginning of September and that the delay doesn’t interfere with plans of the organisation of the contest.