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Russia booted from Eurovision Song Contest over Ukraine invasion

The European Broadcasting Union says the inclusion of a Russian entry would bring the competition into “disrepute.''

LONDON, UK — The European Broadcasting Union says that Russia will not be allowed an entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The union said in a statement Friday that given the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry would bring the competition into “disrepute.''

“The EBU is an apolitical member organisation of broadcasters committed to upholding the values of public service,’’ the union said on Twitter. “We remain dedicated to protecting the values of a cultural competition which promotes international exchange and understanding, brings audiences together, celebrates diversity through music and unites Europe on one stage.”

This year's finale is being held in Turin, Italy, on May 14.

Russia has not yet announced an entrant for the splashy contest.

Ukraine will be represented by Kalush Orchestra, which organizers describe as a “hip-hop band with a fondness for folk.”

Credit: AP
FILE - Maneskin from Italy celebrate with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, Netherlands on May 22, 2021.

Meanwhile, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has provoked punitive measures across the sporting world too. 

Russia has been stripped of hosting the Champions League final by UEFA with St. Petersburg replaced by Paris and Formula One dropped this season’s Russian Grand Prix at Sochi. 

The International Olympic Committee also urged sports federations to move their events out of Russia or Belarus, which Moscow is using as a staging ground for its troops moving into Ukraine from the north. 

The IOC had already condemned Russia for breaching the Olympic Truce, days after the end of the Beijing Winter Games and ahead of the Paralympics.

Russia’s name, flag and anthem are already barred from the March 4-13 Paralympics in Beijing over previous doping disputes. Its team is due to compete as RPC, short for Russian Paralympic Committee.

Manchester United also dropped Russian state-owned airline Aeroflot as a sponsor after the company was banned in Britain as part of sanctions.