San Marino RTV has issued a statement, regarding RAI’s commentators accusing the country of costing Italy a victory in Ukraine.
The San Marinese Head of Delegation has responded to comments made during the broadcast of Eurovision 2018 Semi-Final Two by RAI’s commentators. During the show in which Italy was able to vote for San Marino, the commentators stated that San Marino cost Italy a victory in last years contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. The press release from the Head of Delegation reads;
For the past 10 years, as Head of Delegation for San Marino, which makes me one of the longest serving among my Eurovision colleagues, I have never seen anything similar to what happened yesterday during the broadcast of semi final 2 at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. The two RAI 4 commentators made offensive statements and spread fake news; such as claiming that Francesco Gabbani failed to win Eurovision 2017 because of the San Marino vote. This is a completely fake news story and professionals, or presumed professionals, should carefully avoid such dishonesty, especially considering that they are speaking on behalf of one of Europe’s oldest and most respected Public Broadcasters. They even used the word “infamous” to describe a definitely friendly country.
As anyone who reviews the scoring can clearly see, even if the San Marino jury had awarded Italy 12 points last year, Italy would only have placed 6th, independently of the fact that juries are sovereign in all nations, not just San Marino and that they answer only to their own conscience. San Marino has never commented that Italy has never once awarded San Marino anything more than 6 points.
The damage during the live show has now been done, regardless of whether it helped or hindered San Marino.
Disappointingly, the behavior of the two commentators during the live broadcast on RAI 4 is not only scandalous, but intolerable. It would be interesting to know if the same thing – even the word “infamous” has been used towards an independent and friendly country – would have been used from another country to one of their neighbours, indeed, their closest neighbour. At San Marino RTV, we could possibly ask Russia, or Germany, just for examples, how they’d have reacted.
As Head of Delegation, I will meet with the Director General of San Marino RTV today – he’s here in Lisbon – to solicit an evaluation from the EBU regarding what has happened.
Source: San Marino RTV
Over 9 years of participation San Marino have only once qualified for the Eurovision final when Valentina Monetta represented the country with “Maybe (Forse)” in Copenhagen. She finished in 24th place with 14 points, San Marino’s best result to date. This year Valentina represented her country for the 4th time, this time joined on stage by American singer Jimmie Wilson. The pair’s entry “Spirit of the Night” finished in last place in its semi-final in Kyiv, scoring just 1 point.