UK to offer 3,000 Eurovision tickets to displaced Ukrainians

FILE PHOTO: 2022 Eurovision Song Contest winners Kalush Orchestra meet with fans in Lviv

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's government will make 3,000 tickets for the Eurovision Song Contest available to displaced Ukrainians after their country was unable to host the competition because of Russia's invasion last year.

The government also said it would provide 10 million pounds ($12 million) of funding to help host Eurovision in May on behalf of Ukraine, which won the competition in 2022 and would normally have become host for the following year.

"Today's announcement means that thousands of tickets will be offered to those displaced by war, so that they can take part in a show honouring their homeland, their culture and their music," Britain's Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said.

"As always, we stand together with the Ukrainian people and their fight for freedom."

The northern English city of Liverpool will host the 2023 Eurovision. Britain was the runner-up last year.

British broadcaster BBC will stage the event, which normally draws a television audience of close to 200 million and was last held in Britain in 1998. Ukraine has automatically qualified to the grand final of the competition.

($1 = 0.8372 pounds)

(Reporting by William Schomberg; Editing by William Mallard)