IN MEMORY: All sporting events to be scaled down as a mark of respect to passengers and crew of MH370SPORTS Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that all upcoming sporting events this week will be toned down as a mark of respect to the victims of the ill fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Khairy said it would not be possible to cancel the competitions but promotional and side-events will either be scaled down or cancelled.
"Due to international commitments we are not able to cancel events such as the Formula One race in Sepang, the EurAsia Cup (golf) and the Laureus Awards," said Khairy when met at the Laureus All Stars Unity Cup friendly match in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
"We hope the Malaysian public will understand that we cannot cancel the events as they have been planned for a long time.
"We have, however, advised organisers to tone down their events to show their sympathy towards the family members, relatives and friends of all the passengers and crew aboard the flight.
"Petronas has cancelled their (pre-Formula One) concert and even Laureus have scaled down their events and have dedicated this match (Unity Cup) to the victims."
Former France international Christian Karembeu, who took part in the friendly match between Laureus and Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia selection sides, expressed his sympathy towards those affected by the tragedy.
"Football is hope and we wanted to show solidarity in support for those affected. Knowing what happened we know it is a very difficult time," said Karembeu.
Laureus World Sports Academy chairman Edwin Moses echoed Karembeu's sentiments in an official statement released yesterday which had announced a reduced programme of activity that had been scheduled in the build-up to the awards which will be held today at Istana Budaya.
"Everyone in the Laureus World Sports Academy has been upset by this terrible tragedy," said Moses.
"With the Laureus World Sports Awards in Kuala Lumpur this year, we feel particularly close to the Malaysian people at this time which makes what has happened even more personal and distressing.
"We feel the appropriate action at this time is to scale down some of our activities over the next two days.
"On behalf of the Laureus Academy and the wider Laureus Family around the world, I would like to share our sadness at this latest news and pray for the passengers and crew, and their families of this awful accident which has touched so many people in so many different countries of the world."
Among the many stars that took part in the Unity Cup match yesterday were Michel Salgado, Hidetoshi Nakata, Michael Laudrup, Gaizka Mendieta, Steve McManaman, Ronald De Boer and K. Sambagamaran.
Read more: SPORTCHECK: Gone but not forgotten - Other - New Straits Times