Romania is disqualified from the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest

Its public service broadcaster has not paid back debts of €14.5m

Eurovision Song Contest, Romania, disqualified, debts, TVR,

Image: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

Romania has been disqualified from this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) says it has has withdrawn the Romanian public service broadcaster, TVR, following the non-payment of debts totalling €14.5m.

TVR will also lose the right to broadcast the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest from Stockholm and other services from the EBU, including the rights to broadcast specific sporting events.

The decision was made after a deadline given to the Romanian government to make arrangements to repay the debt ran out on Wednesday April 20th.

TVR's headquarters in Bucharest, Romania | Image: eurovision.tv

EBU director-general Ingrid Deltenre said: "It is regrettable that we are forced to take this action. We are disappointed that all our attempts to resolve this matter have received no response from the Romanian government".

The Romanian act will be taken out from the running order of the second semi-final, which is to take place on May 12th.

Ireland will also be performing its entry on that night, but the organisers say the running order will remain unchanged.

While the Romanian entry will not feature in the contest, the official CD has already been produced and will feature the song.

Organisers say tickets for the shows sold to Romanian fans also remain valid.