According to press agency Interfax, president Petro Poroshenko and prime minister Volodymyr Groysman will take over the decision to pick the host city for Eurovision 2017 from public broadcaster NTU. The announcement of the host city has been postponed four times in the last weeks and months.
Director General of the National Television Company of Ukraine Zurab Alasania has stated that “in my opinion, the question what city will host Eurovision is political. The matter is between President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Groysman. Only these two persons know what is going on,” he said in exclusive comments to Interfax-Ukraine. Alasania added the decision on the winner of the contest should be declared by the beginning of next week.
Earlier the news got out that only Odessa and Kiev are still in the race to host the contest next year. Rumour has it that the NTU and the EBU/Ukrainian government both had a different city as their preferred option to win the bid. President Poroshenko has worked close with Vitali Klitshcko, the Mayor of Kiev, in the past. It looks like the capital of Ukraine has the best papers to be selected in the upcoming days.
Apart from selecting the host city, the EBU is facing another hot topic. The delay to prepare for the contest also increases the chance that the contest will be rescheduled for the final week of May. The proposed dates thus far have been a problem for either Ukraine, due to the Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Crimean Tatar genocide on the 18th of May, or the EBU, due to the clash of the semi-finals with the Champions League and Europa League semi-finals. Rescheduling the contest for the last week of May will give the Ukrainians more time to prepare, and makes sure the contest does not clash with some major international sports events.