23 Dec, 2022

Dubai-based chef Nusret Gökçe, popularly known as Salt Bae, has been banned by US Open Cup — the oldest national soccer competition in the US — after his antics at the FIFA World Cup final upset fans. FIFA has launched an investigation to find out how he gained “undue access” to the pitch and has promised to take action.

On Wednesday, the Open Cup’s official Twitter account declared a ban on the celebrity chef for their championship final in 2023, which features about 100 teams from various levels. The tweet has reached almost 17 million accounts and has thousands of retweets and comments, mostly approving this decision.

There has been a lot of chatter surrounding Salt Bae following the FIFA final — and not in a positive light. Photos and videos of him have been circulating on social media, many shared by himself, where he grabbed the trophy out of a player’s hands, posed with it and bit another player’s medal.

These antics have dismayed fans, who have openly expressed their disapproval online. What many have wondered is how the 39-year-old Turkish restaurateur got onto the pitch in the first place. They are also bringing up the fact that Gökçe broke FIFA rules since the trophy can only be held by tournament winners and the likes of FIFA officials and heads of state.

According to AFP, FIFA are probing into the matter. “Following a review, FIFA has been establishing how individuals gained undue access to the pitch after the closing ceremony at Lusail stadium on December 18,” a spokesman told BBC. “The appropriate internal action will be taken.”

This is not Salt Bae’s first controversy. He was sued for $5 million in 2021 for misusing artwork featuring himself. He had commissioned one mural but ended up using it for his restaurants around the world and as a logo. He has also been recently criticised for the ridiculously high prices at his eateries.

Gökçe owns a chain of luxury restaurants around the world including Beverly Hills in Los Angeles and London’s swish Knightsbridge. His technique for preparing and seasoning meat with salt has become an internet meme.


M. Emad Dec 23, 2022 01:41pm
Salt Bae looks like a Pakistani.
TPA Dec 23, 2022 02:04pm
He can come to Pakistan
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Dec 23, 2022 02:05pm
As you sow, so shall you reap.
NYS Dec 23, 2022 02:12pm
Annoying antics ohhh !!! but There is no use crying over spilt milk
Dragden Dec 23, 2022 02:18pm
@M. Emad bengali infact. Given his short height
Usman Dec 23, 2022 02:21pm
@M. Emad the beef stakes he serves at his restaurants are the best in the world
Fahim Dec 23, 2022 02:31pm
@M. Emad and YOU look like an Indian...
Raj Dec 23, 2022 02:51pm
And acts like a Pakistani
Rahat Dec 23, 2022 02:51pm
@M. Emad And now treated like a pakistani
Sara Ka Dec 23, 2022 03:04pm
@M Emad good thing he ain't a Bengali :)
TPA Dec 23, 2022 03:15pm
@M. Emad Typical criminal
Wife of Dr Salaria Dec 23, 2022 03:16pm
As you sow so shall you reap
NYS Dec 23, 2022 03:47pm
@M. Emad Now a days Gujrati butcher is in trending..
Top Gun Dec 23, 2022 04:09pm
Childish man
MBR Dec 23, 2022 04:12pm
He will be missed…
S.A.M. Dec 23, 2022 04:38pm
That sounds like greed for fame and reminds me greed lessens what is gathered. When all sins get old, greed still stays young.
kash Dec 23, 2022 06:39pm
@TPA - yes with psl winners lol
asma Dec 23, 2022 06:59pm
PMLN = Pakistani Money Laundering Network PDM = Pakistani Dakku Movement
LOL Dec 23, 2022 07:06pm
Someone needs to add some pepper to it.
Zulfiqar Ali Dec 23, 2022 07:35pm
@M. Emad You're a next level Pakistani hater.
well-wisher Dec 23, 2022 08:06pm
How did he get access?
The truth Dec 23, 2022 08:52pm
This guy is a cringe of the Internet and he’s restaurants are Overpriced junk not long before they start shutting down
Zulfiqar Dec 23, 2022 09:17pm
In the Middle East money talks. It’s not what you know but who you know.
Faisi Dec 23, 2022 09:41pm
People make mountain out of nothing. He is just making fun nothing more. People need to grow up
Azmat Ali Dec 23, 2022 10:35pm
@The truth Eaten there twice. Exceptional quality food. The man maybe a twerp but he does serve great food indeed.
Aluda786 Dec 24, 2022 12:32am
@Usman not really. They are just overpriced.
Zulfiqar Dec 24, 2022 02:53am
@Zulfiqar Ali Come on man. You can’t deny there is some truth to what he wrote. Pakistanis always try to look for connections in high places. What Salt Bey did was a very Pakistani things
Charles Dec 24, 2022 09:15am
@M. Emad That is why he has misbehaved......
Aftab Aadil Dec 24, 2022 09:53am
So what !!?? Super Power (!) Pakistan will welcome him in PSL!!
Hamza Dec 24, 2022 12:21pm
@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad A powerful antic by YOU.