Minister faces criticism after Luis Suarez made face of Msian tourism

This article is more than 12 months old

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez's disciplinary issues on the field will not affect his role as the new international face of Tourism Malaysia, said Mr Nazri Aziz.

The Tourism and Culture Minister told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that these issues were not taken into account when the year-long partnership with Suarez was signed earlier this month.

"A couple of MPs in the Dewan also have terrible behaviour, but they have their supporters outside as well, so let's not condemn someone just because of what happened in the past. What happened with Suarez was when he was on the field. Besides, if he was very bad, why would he have millions of fans on social media?" he said in reply to a question from Mr Hee Loy Sian (PKR-Petaling Jaya Selatan) in Parliament.

Mr Hee had raised doubts on the appointment of Suarez, who is known for his tendencies to bite fellow footballers during matches.

In 2010, while playing for Ajax Amsterdam in Holland, Suarez was suspended for seven games after he bit PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal on the shoulder.

Three years later, while playing for Liverpool, he was suspended for 10 games for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic on the right arm.

At the 2014 World Cup when he played for Uruguay, Suarez bit Italy's Giorgio Chiellini on the left shoulder. - THE STAR