'Hosting an event was unacceptable at this moment when India is mourning the death of its jawans.'
India captain Virat Kohli postponed the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours, which was to take place on Saturday, as a 'mark of respect' to the Central Reserve Police Force personnel martyred in the Pulwama terror attack.
On Thursday, at least 41 CRPF paramilitary troopers were killed in a terror attack while several others are battling for their lives following what is being termed as the deadliest terrorist strike in three decades in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian Sports Honours is an initiative of Virat Kohli Foundation and RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group.
"The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours has been postponed. At this heavy moment of loss that we all find ourselves in, we would like to cancel this event that was scheduled to take place tomorrow," Kohli posted on Twitter on Friday.
The sporting fraternity, including Kohli, had joined the country in condemning the dastardly attack.
The batting mainstay annually rewards excellence in sports and nurtures promising athletes through his foundation.
"The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours that was supposed to happen tomorrow night has been postponed by Virat as a mark of respect to the CRPF jawans who were martyred at Pulwama by a tragic terror attack," the foundation said in a statement.
"The who's who of entertainment and sports industry were supposed to be present for the award ceremony. Every partner and all the sportstars and delegates associated with this award have been informed and communicated with, stating that hosting an event was unacceptable at this moment when India is mourning the death of its jawans."
Minerva Punjab FC have also requested the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to shift their upcoming I-League match from Srinagar or defer it in the wake of the Pulwama terrorist attack, saying the club is ready to forfeit if the game is not rescheduled.
Defending champions Minerva Punjab FC are scheduled to play Real Kashmir FC on February 18 at the TRC Turf Ground in Srinagar.
"We have written to the AIFF requesting them to shift the game from Srinagar. My team jersey has the line written 'We Salute Indian Army'. A game of football is nothing compared to what has happened last evening," Minerva Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj said.
"We are willing to forfeit the game if it is not moved out. I am sure the people will stand by us and really three points don't matter under the circumstances," he added.
Established in 1955, Minerva Academy is a premier training institute for SSB aspirants with over 60 years of experience.
"We wear a tribute to the Indian Armed Forces on our match jerseys. Needless to say, we stand in support with our Armed Forces, and cannot play a football match, where 42 of our brothers have been martyred.
"Additionally there is the security threat which will be faced by us when if we do travel for our match. Who will guarantee our safety? Ideally, there should be written assurances and permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs that the region is safe enough to conduct the match as scheduled and that our safety can be guaranteed," the club said in its statement.
"Considering the extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances we hereby request you to please defer the I-League fixture against Real Kashmir till such time our safety is guaranteed by the authorities or have it held at a neutral venue," the club further said.
Third-placed East Bengal, who are scheduled to be in the valley on February 28, have also got in touch with the AIFF after the attack, expressing similar security concerns.