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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 18:09 GMT
Lebanon withdraws from Eurovision
Aline Lahoud
Singer Aline Lahoud would have represented Lebanon
Lebanon has withdrawn from this year's Eurovision Song Contest, after refusing to show the Israeli entry on Lebanese TV channel Tele-liban.

The channel told the European Broadcasting Union that Lebanon's legislation made it nearly impossible to broadcast the Israeli performance.

This puts it in breach of contest rules, which state that all countries taking part must show the entire event.

Lebanon was due to take part in the contest for the first time this year.

It would have been represented by singer Aline Lahoud in the semi-final in Kiev on 19 May.


Eurovision's executive supervisor Svante Stockselius told Eurovision website ESC Today: "When we told them [Lebanon] they had to broadcast the entire programme, they decided to withdraw from the contest."

"I feel particularly sorry for Aline Lahoud."

Tele-liban will still have to pay the participation fee for the contest and faces a further fine for withdrawing.

The channel had originally said it would take part in December 2004, meeting a deadline by which all countries had to confirm their participation.

Lebanon would have been one of three newcomers to this year's contest, the other two being Bulgaria and Moldova.

The final will be held on 21 May, with a record 39 countries taking part overall.

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