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Eurovision plunged into crisis after top organisers quit

Eurovision / Thomas Hanses (EBU)

There are mounting concerns over this year’s Eurovision Song Contest as the show faces fresh troubles in Ukraine.

The singing competition is due to start in Kyiv on 9 May, but it has faced multiple delays and ticketing troubles throughout the planning stages.

But now top organisers of this year’s show have quit, a day after tickets finally went on sale.

The European Broadcasting Union has blamed “staffing matters” for the walkout, which saw 21 members from Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC handing in their notice.

The list of employees who have walked out includes executive producers, the event manager and head of security.

“The group felt they were not able to continue work on the project owing to staffing matters at UA:PBC, which the EBU cannot fully comment on,” a spokesperson for the EBU said.

“The team have been instrumental in the planning for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and we thank them for their hard work.

EBU

Related: Should the UK Brexit from Eurovision?

“We have reiterated to UA:PBC the importance of a speedy and efficient implementation of plans already agreed, despite staff changes, and that we stick to the timeline and milestones that have been established and approved by the Reference Group to ensure a successful Contest in May.

“Further information regarding the core team of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be released in due course.”

Ukraine won the chance to host this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with Jamala’s 1944 last May.

Eurovision fans will be hoping Ukraine sort out the setback swiftly, having already booked flights and accommodation for the two semi-final stages on 9 and 11 May, as well as the Grand Final on 13 May.

Last month, the UK voted for Lucie Jones and her song Never Give Up On You to head to Ukraine to compete in this year’s contest.

Related: Exclusive: GT meets Lucie Jones — the UK’s 2017 Eurovision entry

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