FIFA World Cup 2022: FIFA ‘launches probe’ into how Salt Bae gatecrashed closing ceremony, Argentina’s win over France

FIFA is conducting an internal investigation to find out how Salt Bae gatecrashed the World Cup final, The Sun reports.

The celebrity chef, 39, was pictured with bemused Argentinian players on the pitch holding the trophy after their win on penalties against France in Qatar.

The Turkish cook and Instagram star – real name Nusret Gökçe – was seen wearing a FIFA VIP badge round his neck on Sunday night.

Footage shows him pestering the Argentina squad as they celebrated their cup glory with their families after the nailbiting shootout.

He was seen grabbing hold of Lionel Messi by the shoulder at least twice as the baffled megastar tried to shrug him off.

Bae’s persistence paid off as he finally got a selfie with the striker hailed the greatest of all time.

The chef was also seen forcing himself into line-ups of other stars as they clutched the famous golden trophy.

He has now been barred from attending the US Open Cup, the equivalent of England’s FA Cup.

Now FIFA is said to be conducting an internal investigation to see how the chef got onto the pitch as he has no commercial relationship with FIFA and was not invited onto the pitch by Gianni Infantino.

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Action will be taken against staff who allowed him access after social media footage showed his cringe-worthy exchanges with players including Lionel Messi.

However New York Times reporter Tariq Panja argued the blame for the incident should lie with Infantino, who is known to share a close relationship with the chef.

In a series of videos posted on his own Instagram, the steakhouse magnate interrupted the likes of Angel di Maria, Cristian Romero and Lisandro Martinez as they posed with the World Cup, leaving the trio looking awkward.

Gokce is known to be a close friend of FIFA president Gianni Infantino and actually breached the world governing body’s strict regulations regarding who is allowed to touch the World Cup trophy.

“Its current design dates back to 1974,” FIFA’s website reads.

“As one of the most recognised sports symbols in the world and a priceless icon, the original FIFA World Cup Trophy can only be touched and held by a very select group of people, which includes former winners of the FIFA World Cup and heads of state.”

Salt Bae’s actions sparked fury among football fans.

It comes after he was banned from attending a US sporting event after his behaviour at the final.

The US Open Cup tweeted: “Salt Bae is hereby banned from the 2023 US Open Cup final.”

The US Open Cup is a knockout competition featuring teams from the MLS as well as other domestic tournaments.

It’s not known whether Salt Bae had the 2023 event on his radar.

But now the decision has been taken out of his hands by the tournament chiefs.

– This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

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