On 21st October 2004 Mr Ibrahim El Khoury, President Director General of Télé Liban, exclusively informed esctoday.com about the participation of Lebanon at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. Two months later, we however have to inform you that Lebanon has withdrawn from the contest due to financial reasons.
In an official statement to esctoday.com Télé Liban explains that financial reasons forced Lebanon to withdraw from the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. Sady Farah from Télé Liban denies that the decision was based on political conflicts with Israel, a false rumour that was spread by German news paper Die Tageszeitung today.
“We hereby would like to mention that we did not withdraw from the contest for any political reasons. In fact our decision was based only on financial reasons. Knowing that we are now working towards finding a possible solution for this matter.”
The withdrawal comes as a surprise since Télé Liban had already selected the 23-year old singer Aline Lahoud to represent Lebanon in Kiev. When we last contacted Jad Rahbani, who had been appointed to compose the song for Aline Lahoud, he told us that the song representing Lebanon would have a mixed flavor between the orient and the occident.
Today is the last day countries can withdraw from the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest without facing a financial punishment.