The 2022 Qatar World Cup wrapped up days ago, but people are still talking about Salt Bae and his ‘undue’ presence on the pitch.
The celebrity restaurateur was seen taking selfies with the players and lifting the trophy.
The problem is, he shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
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The rules are made by FIFA themselves and they’re pretty straightforward.
Only players, former players and heads of state are allowed to touch the World Cup trophy.
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So players like Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria were allowed to touch the trophy.
A butcher-turned-celebrity chef like Salt Bae? Probably not.
The governing body of world soccer will now launch an internal investigation to find out how Salt Bae gained access to the pitch.
Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, is a Turkish chef who became an internet sensation overnight after one of his videos went viral.
He’s been carefully crafting his celebrity image since then, and he loves the limelight.
His Instagram account is awash with pics with celebs, including selfies with Gianni Infantino, the current head of FIFA.
Salt Bae’s ‘undue access’ to the pitch didn’t go unnoticed.
He did everything he could to grab attention, taking selfies with Argentina players.
In another video that went viral, he can been seen trying to grab Messi for a picture.
And the Argentina star wasn’t too happy about it.
Salt Bae heavily banks on his celebrity status and it’s unclear whether this stunt will help him or harm him.
Many, including some celebrities, took a stand against him.
Former Italy international Giuseppe Rossi wrote on Twitter: “who da f*q are you bro? Your 2 minutes of fame are up. Next”.
Presenter Lucy James said: “I feel like everything I’ve learned about Salt Bae has been against my will”.
Salt Bae has also been banned from the upcoming US Open Cup.
It’s certainly a fitting end to a World Cup marred by controversies.
From alleged human rights abuses in Qatar to the working conditions of migrant workers who built the stadiums, and now Salt Bae.
It remains to be seen whether Salt Bae, or anyone at FIFA, will actually face consequences for this.