Romania expelled from the Eurovision Song Contest

Romania has been expelled from the Eurovision Song Contest after its national broadcaster failed to pay fees, contest organisers the European Broadcasting Union have confirmed.

The country's rock-tinged singer Ovidiu Anton was withdrawn by organisers just weeks before the international singing contest on May 14.

A spokesman for EBU said the decision was taken after the Romanian government failed to pay a debt of 16 million Swiss francs (£11.4 million pounds) owed by its public broadcaster Televiziunea Română.

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said it was "disappointing" but would not disrupt the contest in a statement quoted by the official Eurovision channel.

Romania's entry will now not appear in the song contest semi-finals due to be broadcast on May 12.

Mr Sand added that EBU would look to see how the situation over the debt develops before making any decision about Romania's participation in 2017 and beyond.

There was no immediate statement from Romania.