Fifa is to investigate how celebrity restaurateur and flamboyant seasoning dispenser Salt Bae gained access to the pitch following Argentina’s victory against France in the World Cup final.
Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, nicknamed ‘Salt Bae’ after his meat seasoning antics turned him into a social media star, was pictured holding the World Cup trophy and attempting to gain the attention of the Argentinian players, including captain Lionel Messi.
Footage from the celebrations following Argentina’s win shows Gökçe badgering players who appear confused about his presence on the pitch.
One video shows the chef placing a hand on Messi’s shoulder only to be snubbed by the footballer while another shows him clutching the famous trophy and, in a particularly cringeworthy moment, performing his signature salt sprinkling technique over it.
Fifa’s rules state that the World Cup trophy should only be handled by current and former winners and heads of state.
In a statement Fifa said: “Following a review, Fifa has been establishing how individuals gained undue access to the pitch after the closing ceremony at Lusail Stadium on 18 December. The appropriate internal action will be taken.”
Salt Bae has a global portfolio of restaurants including Nusr-Et London in the Park Tower Knightsbridge.