Organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest have withdrawn Romania form the contest.
The Eurovision Broadcasting Union (EBU) have announced that the Romanian public service broadcaster, Televiziunea Română (TVR) has been disqualified after they failed to pay debts to the EBU dating back to 2007.
“The Romanian act will be taken out from the running order of the second Semi-Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, which is to take place on 12 May, 2016,” the body said in a statement.
Despite the disqualification, Eurovision states that “the order of the acts will remain the same.”
Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, spoke on behalf of the EBU.
“This is of course disappointing for the artist chosen to represent Romania, for our colleagues at TVR who have prepared their participation so well this year and, not least, for Romanian viewers and the many Eurovision fans in the country.”
The news marks the first time a nation has been forcibly removed from the contest in it’s 61 year history.
Romania have finished third twice at the Eurovision Song Contest, once in 2005 and then again in 2010. It is thought the country will be barred from competing for at least several years in the wake of the news.
Representing Romania was Ovidiu Anton with his pop-rock song, Moments of Silence.