FIFA World Cup

FIFA to Investigate “Salt Bae” Over Undue Pitch Access in WC Final

FIFA have launched an investigation towards celebrity chef Salt Bae and a number of other people over their undue access to the Lusail Iconic Stadium pitch during the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup final.

Turkish chef Salt Bae, real name Nusret Gokce, was seen holding and kissing the World Cup trophy whilst celebrating with the Argentina players after their penalty shootout win over France in last Sunday’s epic final.

FIFA regulations have stipulated that only “select individuals” are allowed to hold the World Cup trophy, which includes players from the winning squad, FIFA officials, and heads of state.

A FIFA spokesperson told BBC Sport that an investigation towards Salt Bae and several other individuals who went into the Lusail pitch after the World Cup final has been launched, and the appropriate action will be taken towards them.

Salt Bae rose to fame in 2017 after his techniques in preparing and seasoning meat became an internet meme, having owned a chain of luxurious steakhouses spread across the world in locations such as London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Istanbul, and Dubai.

He’s also a good friend of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, often seen with him in various photos as well as being pictured with the Italian during the World Cup. Salt Bae was also seen spectating matches in Qatar with Brazilian legends Ronaldo, Cafu, and Roberto Carlos.

Salt Bae’s antics after the World Cup final have drawn worldwide condemnation, as he also forced the likes of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Lisandro Martinez, and Cristian Romero into taking pictures with him.

In the light of Salt Bae’s actions, the US Open Cup has banned the Turkish celebrity chef from attending the 2023 final in a very blunt tweet, which was humorously responded with a “lol” by Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire, while TalkSPORT co-host Simon Jordan was less than amused by Salt Bae’s antics, slamming Infantino for “cronyism” that allowed Salt Bae into the Lusail Iconic Stadium pitch.