Good news from Geneva! Already in September, the Reference Group adopted measures to strengthen the jury voting system and to create more openness. "We are now tightening the procedures on the jury voting, and the tele-voting, putting more responsibility on the broadcasters because we found a lot of them didn't even have a clue that this could happen. Our message to everyone is, if you are involved in acts like this, it could have a consequence, everyone will suffer" says Jan Ola Sand.
He continues his first thought was that the video allegedly showing vote rigging by Azeris was a hoax last year but that he now believed it to be true. "I was irritated, angry about it. We did the investigation we could, but we don't have the tools or the methods of the police," he said. "We are confident that the broadcaster itself is not involved. We concluded that there is no evidence that Ictimai TV had been involved with, or had been aware of the attempts. But the EBU and the Reference Group also want to protect the contest from unfair practice. It was therefore decided to hold each broadcaster more strictly accountable for any wrongdoing in favour of their entry, no matter where it comes from, and to automatically propose exclusion from the contest in case we detect cheating attempts."
As a result Eurovision Song Contest organisers said broadcasters would be banned for up to three years if voting irregularities were discovered to have taken place in their country.
Concerning the 2013 edition the attempts were detected by EBU systems and the votes declared invalid. This means that the results of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest are valid as confirmed by Digame and PwC observers.
A country being banned from Eurovision wouldn't be a first. Lebanon got that when they wanted to join the Eurovision family back in 2005. They even chose the song and singer, Aline Lahoud with Quand tout s'enfuit. Lebanese Tv couldn't guarantee EBU they would show the whole show, meaning also Israel's entry, and out they went and have never returned yet even if the ban is over. The problem called Israel isn't.