Salt Bae Is In Hot Water Yet Again—this Time For Carrying The World Cup Trophy

On Sunday, December 18, Lionel Messi and Argentina defeated France at the FIFA World Cup 2022, leading to a celebration so grand that an estimated five million took to the streets in Buenos Aires during the team's victory parade, per Yahoo. The 50-mile parade route, which was set to continue through the city's obelisk on an open-air bus, had to be ended due to safety concerns as the team was picked up by helicopters, according to The Washington Post.

Before the team flew back to their home country, where the celebrations got to this point, the team spent time on the pitch after the game, taking photos and passing around the esteemed World Cup trophy. According to Sky Sports, fans became quickly distraught when they noticed Chef Nusret Gökçe, better known as Salt Bae, join the team in touching the trophy and celebrating as if he was one of the players.

Perhaps this could have been overlooked if it had been Salt Bae's first time in the hot seat. Last year, it was revealed through a job listing that an experienced chef would be paid just around $12 to $13 per hour at his London restaurant, per The London Economic. This was less than the price of anything on the menu. Around the same time, Gökçe was sued by his employees for discriminating against them because they weren't Turkish (via New York Post). As terrible as the other acts seemingly are, this one might be the one that finally gets the chef "cancelled."

Only winners and world leaders are permitted to touch the trophy

As celebrations ensued on the pitch following Argentina's World Cup victory, Nusret Gökçe, popularly known as Salt Bae, was making his presence known. According to Sky Sports, he was first noticed trying to repetitively grab Lionel Messi's arm to get his attention, but to no avail. Eventually, he did capture a photo with Messi as well as several other players, though videos revealed their annoyance during the debacle. In a tweet, @barstoolsports combined numerous clips from Salt Bae's TikTok account revealing his interactions with the team. The videos show the chef handling the World Cup trophy to a great extent, kissing it, pretending to sprinkle salt on it, and even seemingly grabbing it out of Lisandro Martinez' hands. According to the International Federation of Association Football, the only individuals permitted to handle the trophy are those who've won it and heads of state.

Twitter users were outraged after seeing the video. "He is grabbing the trophy from the players like he won it himself. How did he even get on the field?" wrote one user. Another person wrote, "Salt Bae at the World Cup final is like that person who didn't contribute to your group project then came to celebrate with the credit." Perhaps this is the incident that will finally put an end to a once-beloved meme.