This is the moment celebrity chef Salt Bae snatched the World Cup trophy from the winners after pestering Lionel Messi for a selfie.
FIFA faced questions today over why a restaurateur was allowed onto the pitch after embarrassing scenes in the final, The Sun reports.
Gary Lineker called Salt Bae a “pest” and former FA chairman Greg Dyke weighed in on world football boss Gianni Infantino as fury grew around the world.
The Turkish chef and Instagram star – whose real name is Nusret Gökçe – was spotted wearing a FIFA VIP badge around his neck on Sunday night.
The footage shows him annoying the Argentina team as they celebrate cup glory with their families after a tense shootout.
He was seen grabbing Lionel Messi’s shoulder at least twice as the confused megastar tried to shrug him off.
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Bae’s persistence paid off when he finally took a selfie with the striker hailed as the greatest of all time.
The chef also squeezed into the lineups of other stars as they clutched the famous golden trophy.
At one point, he was seen ripping it off Lisandro Martínez, who looked askance at the bizarre interruption.
Gökçe also faked his signature trick of sprinkling salt over the trophy while the irritated players stood by.
In another clip, Salt Bae can be seen shaking his finger in a scolding gesture when Cristiano Romero’s child tried to touch the trophy.
Instead, the chef pulled him away, kissed him, and lifted him over his head like a champion.
He also posted a series of bragging photos on his Instagram page showing him raking and kissing the 18-carat gold trophy.
The disgraceful spectacle reportedly broke FIFA rules, which say only former winners and heads of state can handle the $30 million prize.
BBC presenter Gary Lineker shared footage of him seeking attention, saying: “He’s such a pest.”
Greg Dyke said: “I think Fifa and Infantino didn’t come out of it very well.”
FIFA reportedly refused to say whether Salt Bae was given access to the pitch.
If he was given “access to all areas” accreditation, it would open the governing body to accusations of cronyism or special treatment of Infantino’s friends, The Times reports.
Gökçe is said to be friends with controversial FIFA boss Infantino, who praised him as “number one” after visiting his steak house in Qatar during the tournament.
“Football brings the world together and Nusret brings the world together too,” Infantino said.
Infantino was also filmed sprinkling himself with salt in a video at Dubai’s Gökçe restaurant in 2020, which is worth it.
Other VIP guests at the finale included Twitter billionaire Elon Musk and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
And French President Emmanuel Macron was condemned for his awkward attempts to comfort missing hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe.
The chef was branded “pathetic” on Twitter for his attention-seeking antics, which were also described as “the most fragile thing ever”.
“The man just won the World Cup literally minutes ago and this ‘celebrity’ feels entitled to get his attention,” said one Twitter user.
“You shouldn’t touch the cup. You are not a champion,” read the second comment.
Another furious Instagram user said she was “unfollowing” the Turkish chef.
“You shouldn’t have touched that trophy, only the players and staff who have worked their way up to become champions have that right.
“You just want attention.
Continuing the theme, one post reads: “It’s time for players who have worked hard, not celebrities to hang around and take selfies for their own promotion.”
Salt Bae isn’t the only celebrity to fall foul of FIFA etiquette.
Rihanna was pictured holding the award in 2014 and later revealed she kissed and posed for a selfie with the famous trophy.
Salt Bae rose to fame in 2017 when a video of him lovingly preparing a steak by theatrically sprinkling handfuls of salt crystals quickly went viral.
Nusret then became a celebrity in his own right, cooking for celebrities such as David Beckham, Leonardo DiCaprio and DJ Khaled.
He opened his first Nusr-Et steakhouse in Istanbul in 2010.
– This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished with permission.
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