Argentina’s World Cup triumph answered a lot of questions, many of which revolved around its talisman, Lionel Messi. The festivities after the final match also raised a query: Just what was “Salt Bae” doing on the field?
Nusret Gökçe, better known by the catchy moniker “Salt Bae,” could be seen partying hard with La Albiceleste players after their victory over France.
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In pictures posted to his Instagram, the chef-turned-influencer — and noted sprinkler — could be seen posing with the likes of Messi, Angel Di Maria, Cristian Romero and Lisandro Martinez following the match. He also held the World Cup trophy on more than one occasion, something that is permitted for tournament-winning personnel and FIFA officials.
It seems Salt Bae’s actions haven’t gone unpunished. Soccer’s governing body announced that it is launching an investigation into how Salt Bae got field access after the match.
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The internet personality’s controversial actions have spawned much criticism — and even more memes.
The Sporting News has the details on how Salt Bae got into hot water with FIFA.
Who is Salt Bae?
For those who are less privy to online culture, Salt Bae is a world-renowned chef who took the internet by storm after being videotaped dusting select meats with salt in 2017.
The Turkish cook owns 22 restaurants through his company, Nusr-Et; nine are located in Turkey.
He has been ever-present on the web since going viral five years ago and has gained notable admirers in that time, including Messi, Paul Pogba, David Beckham and the late Diego Maradona.
Salt Bae also greeted FIFA president Gianni Infantino at one of his eateries in 2021.
😎 ¡Ni Infantino se resistió al Saltbae!
🥩 El presidente de la FIFA no desaprovechó la oportunidad de disfrutar de los manjares de @nurs_ett🤏
(Vía | IG | nurs_et) pic.twitter.com/YnGqyxtId7
— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) January 6, 2021
Why is Salt Bae being investigated by FIFA?
FIFA’s investigation comes after Salt Bae was shown descending upon the field following Argentina’s penalty shootout victory over France in the World Cup final in Qatar.
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FIFA told Sky Sports News that Salt Bae’s field access was “unauthorized.”
A FIFA spokesperson offered this statement after news of the investigation broke:
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.”
If the Tik Tok star wasn’t supposed to be on the field, he sure didn’t look like it. Decked out in a sleek gray suit and rocking his signature slicked-back ponytail, Salt Bae made sure to capture every highlight of his trek to the pitch.
Here, he can be seen awkwardly posing with Di Maria, Romero and Martinez, respectively:
And here he is stealing a picture with a seemingly disinterested Messi:
Per Sky Sports News, Salt Bae was one of the 303 people Infantino followed on Instagram. It appears Salt Bae has been unfollowed.
Salt Bae net worth
Salt Bae’s meteoric rise has brough him plenty of dough. He is worth a cool $50 million, per Fotolog.
Much of that figure is from his various business holdings through Nusr-Et. He also has featured in a number of glitzy commercials, including this one for Google Pixel 2:.
And this one for Ciroc:
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