Bosnia & Herzegovina: BHRT’s Eurovision return marred by EBU’s sanctions

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,333 views

BHRT, the Bosnian national broadcaster has been facing financial turmoil and has been sanctioned by the EBU due to its hefty debt. The country’s return to the contest next year continues to look grim as its broadcaster has to resolve its financial issues and settle its debt with the EBU before eyeing a potential Eurovision participation.

BHRT’s Eurovision journey has been marred by numerous hurdles in the past years, having withdrawn from the competition in 2013 and not returning until 2016 due to financial problems. The country’s return was short-lived as it withdrew again in 2017 and has not returned since.

Siegel offers to sponsor Bosnian participation?

According to reports in the local media, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s return to the competition seems highly unlikely due to its current debt and financial afflictions.

Eurovision veteran Ralph Siegel reportedly offered to cover the costs of  the country’s Eurovision participation in Lisbon, as well as producing and composing the Bosnian entry with the condition that Bosnian folk singer Hanka Paldum should perform the song.

The offer was allegedly turned down, but now it seems that the Eurovision Midas has contacted the Bosnian broadcaster yet again eyeing a potential participation in the contest in Israel.

Ms. Lejla Babovic (Bosnian Head of Delegation) told Blix.ba:

Last year we could not accept this offer because we did not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest. We left this option open this year and contacted the EBU about the possibility of BHRT’s participation in  Eurovision 2018. Unfortunately, BHRT is still under EBU sanctions. The EBU have told us that BHRT can not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest until it resolves the court process and does not see how it will start paying off  its debts that amount over 6 million Swiss francs.

BHRT continues to be sanctioned by the EBU due to its heavy debt. The Bosnian broadcaster confirmed to ESCToday last year its non participation in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon due to the hardships it was facing and the EBU’s sanctions.

Hence it looks highly unlikely that we will see Bosnia & Herzegovina return to the competition next year either. The Bosnian national broadcaster has to first settle its debt with the EBU and then eye a possible Eurovision participation.

Bosnia & Herzegovina in Eurovision

Bosnian & Herzegovina debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 with Fazla, and is yet to win the competition. The Balkan country achieved its best result in 2006 with Hari Mata Hari‘s Lejla, placing 3rd in the Grand Final in Athens.

The last time the country graced the Eurovision stage was in 2016 when Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala flew the Bosnian flag in Stockholm.

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