: Eurovision organizers apologise to "everyone offended" by the flag ban

13:57 Apr. 30, 2016

Eurovision organizers apologise to "everyone offended" by the flag ban

The stage of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (Credit: STV)

European Broadcasting Union says the published flag policy was a "draft version"

The organisers of the 2016 Eurovision said the guidelines for the use of flags and banners at the Song Contest, issued On April 28, were a draft version and were not intended for publication.

"On Thursday afternoon, a draft version of the flag policy for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest was published on the website of the Globe Arena and ticket agency AXS. The document included a non-exhaustive list of examples of flags that under the flag policy are prohibited in the venue. This document was not intended to be published," the European Broadcasting Union said in an official statement on its Facebook page.

The organisers added that they "understand and acknowledge the sensitivities" of the issue and apologised to everyone who felt offended by the list.

They promised to publish "the official and final flag policy document" on the official Eurovision.tv website along with a full explanation.

The list of the banned flags left many groups unhappy, including the Crimean Tatar people and the Spaniards in the northern region of the Basque Country, who found themselves alongside Donetsk People's Republic and even the terrorist group known as ISIL (Islamic State).

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo called on those responsible to make amendments to the rules, and the head of the Basque government Inigo Urkullu Renteria urged Spain to boycott the contest.




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