Rumours about the organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 are widely spread on the internet since Istanbul was hit by several terrorist attacks. This morning, information popped up saying that the Dutch broadcaster NOS and the German broadcaster NDR were asked to quitly work out a take-over plan. Esctoday.com tried to verify this information: false, according to the EBU!
Svante Stockselius, co-ordinator for the Eurovision Song Contest at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), told esctoday.com that “this information is totally false (…) and nothing of its kind is accurate”.
The information spread on the web appeared in several formats, the basis of the information was like this: “The EBU asked NDR and NOS – very quietly – to organise a drawer plan for the qualifier round (in the Netherlands) and the final (in Germany) instead of Istanbul (if the unsafe situation doesn't change). It is also said that although that final date (15th May) will not be changed, the semi-final is now planned 1 week ahead (8th May) since it's going to be in 2 different countries. It appeared that Germany was selected to host the final becasue of large Turkish community, but since Germany will not participate in the qualifier round, The Netherlands was asked to help out with the qualifier”.
As said before, the EBU denies this information completely. In a video conference, the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group and TRT will discuss security today, if anything will change in the organisation, the EBU will report it. So far, changing the host city is not yet an issue. The Dutch broadcaster NOS also denied this story (source: Frank Mol).
We will update you on the latest news as it comes in…