FIFA President Gianni Infantino has unfollowed Turkish celebrity chef Salt Bae for his controversial World Cup final antics.
Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gokce, courted trouble when he leaped over his bounds to touch and caress the World Cup trophy at the Lusail stadium.
FIFA has fumed on Salt Bae’s nuisant antics when the £161,000-worth trophy was handed over to Argentina after the Albiceleste defeated defending champions France to secure their third World Cup trophy.
FIFA contends that Salt Bae should not have been allowed to touch the World Cup trophy after it was handed over to Argentina.
Salt Bae’s antics was strange to FIFA’s long-held tradition and rules governing the handling of the World Cup trophy.
Only heads of state and former winners of the tournament are allowed to touch the World Cup trophy.
Salt Bae pester Lionel Messi and other Argentina players for pics after the World Cup
Salt Bae did not just have his hands on the World Cup trophy, he pestered Argentina World Cup hero Lionel Messi for a pic during the celebrations.
Initially, Mess ignored Bae’s loose drives but reluctantly succumbed after he pressed on. Bae went on to take pics with Lisandro Martinez, Angel Di Maria, and other Argentine players during the celebrations.
Why Did Salt Bae go as far as touching the World Cup trophy?
While prodding Argentina players to get pics was of little concern to FIFA and football fans, getting as far as touching and kissing the World Cup trophy sparked reactions from football fans and pundits.
While Salt Bae’s antics remain a mystery yet to be solved, there are speculations that his connection to top and high-profile personalities in the game must have influenced his antics.
Salt Bae has had top footballers, including the likes of Lionel Messi and Paul Pogba, grace his restaurant.
He is also a long-time friend of FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Infantino reportedly visits Salt Bae’s restaurant often.
Apart from patronizing the Turkish celebrity chef, Infantino and Salt Bae have a strong relationship.
The duo have been seen several times spending time together, with Infantino not hesitating to sing the praises of his Turkish celebrity chef.
Infantino has gone as far as introducing Salt Bae to high-profile personalities in the 2022 World Cup.
They were also together at the VIP box in the World Cup alongside Brazil legends Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, and Cafu.
The football chief is also said to have visited Gökçe’s Nusr-Et steakhouse in Doha and gave Salt Bae a warm and friendly hug.
During the visit, he said, “Football unites the world, and Nusret unites the world as well.”
At his Dubai restaurant, Infantino mimicked Salt Bae’s salt sprinkling gimmick, saying;
“He is number one. The meat here is incredible.
“Food is like football — it’s heart, it’s emotion, it’s love — all the ingredients we can find them here thanks to this man.”
In 2021 Infantino was quoted to have said: “Mr Nusret, number one. The best of the best. An unforgettable evening here in Dubai with Nusret. I’ll come back.
“Legend, he’s a legend. Legend number one. Thank you very much.”
It is believed Gianni Infantino’s relationship with Salt Bae must have prompted his fame-hungry antics at the 2022 World Cup final.
However, Gianni Infantino has reportedly unfollowed him on Instagram as FIFA commences an investigation into how he accessed the World Cup trophy at the Lusail Stadium.
After his latest controversial reaction at the Lusail stadium, reports have emerged that Salt Bae had touched the Champions League trophy when Real Madrid won it.