World football governing body FIFA have begun an investigation into the access to and handling of the world cup trophy by Turkish celebrity chef, Salt Bae and a number of other people at the end of the world cup final in Qatar.
Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gokce, was seen holding and kissing the World Cup trophy while celebrating with Argentina players after their penalty shoot-out win over France.
Fifa rules state that the trophy can only be held by a small group of people, which include the tournament winners, Fifa officials and heads of state.
In a statement posted by a Fifa spokesperson, it said that Following a review of the incident, Fifa has been establishing how individuals gained undue access to the pitch after the closing ceremony at Lusail stadium on 18 December and have decided to take necessary action.
Salt Bae is the owner of a number of luxury restaurants around Europe and he rose to fame in 2017 after his technique for preparing and seasoning steak went viral and became an internet meme.
Many current and former footballers, including Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, have been spotted regularly dining at Salt Bae’s restaurants.
In November, during the World Cup, he posted a video of himself alongside Fifa president Gianni Infantino, with whom he was later pictured in the VIP box watching a match in the company of former Brazil stars Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Cafu.
Emerging footage shows Messi appeared to ignore Salt Bae during the celebrations after Argentina’s win, as the chef tried to get his attention.