(Bloomberg) -- South Africa intends to scrap plans to sponsor English football club Tottenham Hotspur, Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille said.

“My advice to the South African Tourism Board is that the proposal may as well be stopped completely,” De Lille told reporters Friday in the capital, Pretoria.

The board announced last month that it had given preliminary approval to the deal — reported to be worth about 1 billion rand ($55 million). It faced criticism over the deal by local media outlets that argued the funds could be better spent tackling poverty or the nation’s energy crisis.

Three members of the board resigned last month over the issue.

READ: South African President Pans Tottenham Hotspur Sponsorship Deal

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