Contestant hailed for boycotting Miss Universe 'was never eligible,' says Miss Universe

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More than 70 countries are expected to compete at the 70th edition of Miss Universe in Eilat, Israel, on 12 December.
More than 70 countries are expected to compete at the 70th edition of Miss Universe in Eilat, Israel, on 12 December.
Photo by Thomas Thompson on Unsplash
  • Beauty pageant titleholder Rafaela Plastira in October announced that she had withdrawn from the 70th edition of Miss Universe.  
  • More than 70 countries are expected to compete at Miss Universe in Eilat, Israel, on 12 December. 
  • The Miss Universe organisation told Channel24 on Monday: "Rafaela Plastira was never eligible to represent Greece at Miss Universe this year." 

As beauty pageant titleholder Rafaela Plastira continues to be applauded by the BDS movement for her decision to withdraw from Miss Universe 2021 hosted in Israel, organisers claim she "never had the official anointing" to represent the country at the international pageant. 

More than 70 countries are expected to compete at the 70th edition of Miss Universe in Eilat, Israel, on 12 December. 

It was widely reported in June 2021 that the 22-year-old would represent Greece at Miss Universe, but on 1 October, Rafaela announced in an Instagram post that she would boycott the competition to show solidarity with Palestine. 

On Thursday, a statement by Giorgos Kouvaris, president of Star & Mr GS Hellas said: "Regarding the issue of Rafael Plastira's departure from Miss Universe 2021, in which the Palestinian issue was cited, it is all false.

"Rafaela Plastira is Star Hellas 2019 and is her only title; she never had the official anointing to represent our country in Miss Universe 2021, as Miss Universe Greece."

In response to media enquiry, the Miss Universe organisation told Channel24 that "Rafaela Plastira was never eligible to represent Greece at Miss Universe this year". 

"The only woman who was ever eligible to compete this year at Miss Universe is Miss Universe Greece 2021 Sofia Arapogianni. She was crowned earlier this year and will be competing next month in Israel," the statement continued.

Speaking to Channel24 on Monday, Rafaela said: "I'm glad to have the opportunity to answer any of your questions, with regards to this matter, in order to dissolve this misunderstanding once and for all.

"I would like to note, for your kind attention, that this disputation has been solved on Greek TV, where my mum and I gave a very honest interview about this case."

By Wednesday morning, Rafaela did not respond to our questions. 

Channel24 reached out to the Star & Mr GS Hellas organisation for comment, and this article will be updated should more information become available. 

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