By Tom Horton, PA
Belarus will not be taking part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest after failing to submit an eligible entry for the competition.
It was previously reported that a song by the group Galasy ZMesta was rejected by organisers for being too political.
The competition is scheduled to take place in the Netherlands in May.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) March 26, 2021
A statement on the official Eurovision website from the European Broadcasting Union said: “On Wednesday 10 March we wrote to the broadcaster BTRC, which is responsible for Belarus’ entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, to request that they take all steps necessary to amend their entry to this year’s event to ensure it is compliant with the rules of the competition.
“Following this BTRC submitted a new song, by the same artists, within an agreed timeframe.
“The EBU and the Reference Group, the contest’s governing board, carefully scrutinised the new entry to assess its eligibility to compete.
“It was concluded that the new submission was also in breach of the rules of the competition that ensure the contest is not instrumentalised or brought into disrepute.
“As BTRC have failed to submit an eligible entry within the extended deadline, regrettably, Belarus will not be participating in the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in May.”
Last year’s Eurovision was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s contest will be held in Rotterdam on May 22nd.