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Eurovision bosses reveal this years songs won't be eligible next year but acts can return

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Eurovision bosses have revealed that songs written for this year's cancelled contest won't be eligible next year.

Eurovision 2020 was axed last week due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

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It is set to return in 2021 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands where this year's contest was to be hosted.

The European Broadcasting Union has issued a new statement revealing plans for "alternative programming" in 2020 which will "honour the songs and artists which have been chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020".

Consequently, any song submitted for this year's contest will not be eligible for next year.

However participants are welcome to return, with the EBU leaving it up to each broadcaster to decide who they want to represent them in 2021.

"We have been overwhelmed with the love that the Eurovision Song Contest family has shared since the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event," the statement read in full. "The EBU is very aware of how much the Eurovision Song Contest will be missed this year.

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"The Contest’s values of universality and inclusivity, and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music, are needed now more than ever.

"As such, the EBU and its Members are currently exploring alternative programming, but not a competition, to help unite and entertain audiences around Europe during these challenging times."

They added: "It is our intention with this programming, and on our online platforms in the coming months, to honour the songs and artists which have been chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.

"With that in mind, the Reference Group, the Song Contest’s governing board, has decided that, in accordance with the Rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, this year’s songs will not be eligible to compete when the Contest returns in 2021.

"At their discretion, Participating Broadcasters may decide which artist(s) to send in 2021, either this year’s representative or a new one.

"We ask for your continued patience while we work through practical implications of these ideas in the coming days and weeks."

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Meanwhile, the BBC said: "We, like the EBU, are incredibly sad that the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 has been cancelled, but completely support the EBU's decision with the uncertainty around COVID-19 throughout Europe and beyond.

"BBC and BBC Studios would like to thank James Newman for all his hard work preparing for Eurovision 2020."

More on: Eurovision 2020