FIFA have admitted that Salt Bae shouldn’t have been on the pitch after the World Cup final.
The famous restaurateur was seen holding the trophy and harassing the Argentine players for photos after their victory against France on Sunday.
Football’s governing body had remained mum on the matter after the Turkish chef and butcher – who owns a chain of restaurants including one in London – was widely criticized on social media for trying to insert himself into the celebrations at the Lusail stadium in Qatar.
But Fifa have now confirmed that Salt Bae’s access to the pitch was not permitted and that FIFA guidelines state that only world Cup winners and Heads of State are permitted to touch the trophy during the closing ceremony.
According to the FIFA website rules: “As one of the world’s most recognized sporting symbols and a priceless icon, the original FIFA World Cup trophy may only be touched and held by a person. very select group of people, which includes former FIFA World Cup winners and heads of state.”
FIFA are currently carrying out an investigation into the circumstances which led to Salt Bae, real name Nusret Gokce, ending up on the pitch, Sky Sports News reports.
A FIFA spokesperson said: “Following a review, FIFA has established how individuals gained improper access to the pitch after the closing ceremony at Lusail Stadium on 18 December. Appropriate internal measures will be taken.”
From the World Cup final, a video has emerged of FIFA President Gianni Infantino having his steak sliced by Salt Bae and then mimicking his famous seasoning technique at his restaurant in Dubai.
Salt Bae was one of Infantino’s 303 Instagram followers as of 6 p.m. Thursday, but as of 7:15 p.m. Thursday he was unfollowed.
Embarrassing scenes ensued the day after Argentina won on penalties on Sunday as the chief was filmed harassing players who appeared bewildered by his presence.
Lionel Messi was seen repeatedly trying to shake Mr Gokce after he grabbed the PSG star to try and take a shot.
Angel di Maria and Lisandro Martinez also seemed confused by the chef’s appearance.
Salt Bae shot to worldwide fame in 2017 after a video of him demonstrating his flamboyant method of seasoning meat became an internet meme.
His London restaurant, the Nusr-et steakhouse in the posh suburb of Knightsbridge, was recently the subject of animal rebellion activists protest for his “sale of gold-plated steaks for over £1,000”, which the band said was “symbolic of a broken system”.