Traditionally, Ukraine’s job as the winner would be to host the next song contest. However, the EBU said that after a “full assessment and feasibility study” it had concluded that Ukraine would not be viable as a host due to the ongoing war.
Addressing the conflict in Ukraine, the EBU said: “The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex television productions in the world with thousands of people working and attending the event and 12 months of preparation time is needed.
“After an objective analysis, the Reference Group, the board of directors of CES, has concluded with deep regret that, given the current circumstances, the operational and security guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Festival of the Eurovision Song Contest under the CES Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC”.
The EBU also revealed that it would now “start talks with the BBC” to organize next year’s competition, as British actor Sam Ryder finished second.
“In accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now enter talks with the BBC, as this year’s finalist, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the UK.”
The BBC has since issued a statement about the announcement, telling CNN on Friday: “We have seen the EBU announcement. Clearly these are not a set of circumstances that anyone would want. After their decision, of course, we will discuss the BBC organizing the Eurovision Song Contest”.
The news comes weeks after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was confident his country would host.
“Next year Ukraine will host the Eurovision! For the third time in its history. And, I think, it will not be the last. We will do our best to one day receive Eurovision participants and guests in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful! , rebuilt!” he said in an Instagram post, seconds after the Kalush Orchestra victory was announced.