Eurovision Issues ‘Slap on Wrist’ to Swedish Keffiyeh Wearing Contestant


Swedish Eurovision contestant Eric Saade found himself at the center of controversy after performing his song entry “Popular” on Tuesday while wearing a keffiyeh wrapped around his wrist.

Following the performance, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) issued a statement claiming that Saade, whose father is Arab, was well aware of the rules against making political statements during the competition.

“Eurovision is a live television program. All performers are aware of the competition rules, and we regret that Eric Saade chose to ignore the non-political nature of the event,” the EBU statement reads.

In response, Saade’s manager Tomas Lingman criticized the EBU for politicizing the keffiyeh and not broadcasting Saade’s performance on their various channels.

“Eric chose to wear a keffiyeh associated with Palestine during the Eurovision opening performance in front of approximately 200 million viewers, and it became news in many places around the world. This specific keffiyeh was given to Eric by his father in his childhood so he would never forget his heritage,” Lingman wrote on X.

Meanwhile, Israeli Eurovision representative Eden Golan will not perform her song “Hurricane” until the second semi-final round on Thursday. However, Israeli-born Tali Golergant, who represents Luxembourg, did advance to Saturday’s finale with her song “Fighter.”

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