Lebanon withdraws from Eurovision Song Contest

Lebanon was forced to withdraw from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, after refusing to show the Israeli entry on Lebanese TV channel, Tele-liban.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  May 26, 2005

Lebanon was forced to withdraw from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, after refusing to show the Israeli entry on Lebanese TV channel, Tele-liban. The channel told the European Broadcasting Union that Lebanon’s legislation made it impossible to broadcast the Israeli performance. This put it in breach of contest rules, which state that all countries taking part must show the entire event. Lebanon was due to take part in the contest for the first time this year. It would have been represented by singer Aline Lahoud in the semi-final in Kiev on 19 May. Eurovision’s executive supervisor Svante Stockselius told Eurovision web site ESC Today: “When we told them [Lebanon] they had to broadcast the entire programme, they decided to withdraw from the contest. I feel particularly sorry for Aline Lahoud.” Tele-liban will still have to pay the participation fee for the contest and faces a further fine for withdrawing. The channel had originally said it would take part in December 2004, meeting a deadline by which all countries had to confirm their participation. Lebanon would have been one of three newcomers to this year’s contest, the other two being Bulgaria and Moldova. The final was held on May 21, with a record 39 countries taking part overall.

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