Dubai-based chef Salt Bae banned from football tournament after viral Fifa World Cup videos upset fans

Several clips of the chef touching the iconic trophy, and asking players like Lionel Messi to pose for snaps, received widespread backlash online

By Web Desk

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Photo: Instagram
Photo: Instagram

Published: Thu 22 Dec 2022, 5:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 22 Dec 2022, 10:56 PM

On Wednesday, a national soccer tournament announced that it was banning celebrity chef from next year's US Open Cup final.

Without preamble or ado, the tweet simply read: "Salt Bae is hereby banned from the 2023 @opencup Final (sic)." At the time of publication, the post had over 135,000 likes and nearly 6,000 retweets.

Earlier this week, the Dubai-based Turkish chef had gone viral on social media after the Fifa World Cup final — unfortunately, not for the right reasons. Salt Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, was the subject of much online commentary for his behaviour on the field after the nail-biting final match between Argentina and France.

He had taken to his social media accounts to post several photos and videos of himself, touching the trophy and asking players such as Messi to pose for snaps. The visuals gained widespread anger and criticism, as fans believed he had broken Fifa World Cup rules regarding who was allowed to touch the coveted trophy and that he was reportedly getting in the way of players as they celebrated their moment of triumph.

The US Open Cup is a national men's football tournament held in the United States. Twitter commentators show mixed reactions, some applauding the decision citing Salt Bae's behaviour, and some defending him and his celebrity status.


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