Salt Bae mocked for handling World Cup trophy on pitch after final

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Nusret Goekce, nicknamed Salt Bae, admires the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Winner's Trophy after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Celebrity chef Salt Bae holds the World Cup aloft after Argentina beat France in Qatar on Sunday. (Getty)

Turkish chef and restauranteur Salt Bae has been mocked for hijacking Argentina's World Cup win in Qatar.

Lionel Messi and his teammates sparked wild scenes of jubilation on the pitch in Doha - and back home in Argentina - after beating France in a dramatic penalty shoot-out on Sunday night.

But nestled among the players and coaching staff was the unexpected face of the celebrity chef.

Bae, whose real name is Nusret Gökçe, gained popularly five years after a video of him pouring salt on a steak went viral.

His Nusr-Et chain sells steaks covered in gold flakes for more than £1,000.

The controversial chef has gone viral again, after he was roundly criticised on social media for implanting himself into the middle of the Argentina team's celebrations.

At one point he grabbed Messi, Argentina's footballing hero, repeatedly by the arm in order to get a word with him. In the end, Messi did pose for a photo with the chef, which Bae posted on his Instagram (below).

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At another point in the celebrations, Bae was pictured with the World Cup trophy itself (pictured above), contrary to Fifa rules about who is allowed to handle it.

Read more: Protesters target Salt Bae’s London steak restaurant

Bae posted a video on his Instagram account of him holding the trophy beside Argentinian goalscorer Angel Di Maria, then giving the cup a slap when handing it back to the player. In another image, Bae his seen biting an Argentina player's winning medal.

Fifa rules state that the original solid gold 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".

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of Argentina and team celebrate after winning the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images)
Lionel Messi holds the World Cup aloft after Argentina beat France on Sunday. (Getty Images)

Yahoo News UK has approached Fifa for comment.

There was a similar controversy in 2014, when the World Cup winning German team were pictured with singer Rihanna, who was allowed to hold the trophy in a post-match party.

She tweeted at the time: "I touched the cup, held the cup, kissed the cup, took a selfie wit the cup."

Bae has posted pictures on his Instagram account of his time spent during the World Cup in Qatar, and was photographed with Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Nusret Goekce, nicknamed Salt Bae, kisses the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Winner's Trophy after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Salt Bae kisses the World Cup trophy. (Getty Images)

Football fans on Twitter were unimpressed with Bae's antics.

"Who let Salt Bae out on the pitch?" asked André Noruega. "Saw a bunch of photos of him holding the World Cup trophy, and even a picture of him biting on a medal.

"At least Messi knew not to give that guy trying to make their moment about him any attention. Desperately grabbing Messi."

One Instagram user commented: "You shouldn't touch the cup. You 're not a champion."

Another wrote: "I thought only world champions could touch the cup?"

Watch: Protesters target Salt Bae's London restaurant