FIFA has launched an investigation and promised “internal action” over celebrity chef Salt Bae shamelessly gatecrashing Argentina’s World Cup victory celebrations.
The World Cup is supposed to be touched or held only by a select group but the Turkish chef – once described by FIFA president Gianni Infantino as “legend number one” – was recorded even kissing the trophy following Argentina’s triumph in an epic decider on Sunday.
He also made a series of cringeworthy attempts to get Lionel Messi’s attention, even though the Argentina captain did not appear to know who he was.
The footage prompted considerable outrage and FIFA has released a statement admitting the chef, whose real name is Nusret Gokce, should not have been on the Lusail Stadium pitch during Argentina’s moment of glory.
“Following a review, FIFA has been establishing how individuals gained undue access to the pitch after the closing ceremony at Lusail Stadium on December 18 – the appropriate internal action will be taken,” a spokesperson said.
There is no formal commercial relationship between FIFA and Gokce, who has steak houses in Dubai and Doha, but a video has emerged of Infantino openly endorsing the chef’s Nusr-Et restaurants.
Gokce first became famous in 2017 following a social media posting of his theatrical preparation of meat and, wearing FIFA accreditation. He became an embarrassingly visible presence on the pitch after Sunday’s final.
Videos show his awkward attempts to hold the World Cup trophy and pose for pictures alongside players, even though he had no obvious links to the team.
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