U.S. Open Cup Says Salt Bae Is Banned From Finals, FIFA Launches Investigation Into His World Cup Behavior

Salt Bae has been banned from the U.S. Open Cup final following his behavior at the 2022 World Cup final, where he kissed and held the trophy, and more.

Salt Bae at the 2022 world cup final

18 December 2022, Qatar, Lusail: Soccer, World Cup, Argentina - France, final round, final, Lusail Stadium, Turkish restaurateur Nusret Gökçe, alias Salt Bae, kisses the World Cup trophy. Photo: Robert Michael/dpa - (Photo by Robert Michael/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Salt Bae at the 2022 world cup final

Many found Salt Bae’s behavior at the World Cup to be outrageous.

A quick recap in case you missed it: after Argentina’s win against France in the finals, Salt Bae, or Nusret Gökçe, somehow found his way onto the pitch, where he held and kissed the FIFA World Cup trophy and bothered a handful of players, including Lionel Messi, into taking photos with him.

Due to his actions, he is no longer allowed to attend the U.S. Open Cup final in 2023. The official Twitter account for the soccer competition tweeted as much on Tuesday: “Salt Bae is hereby banned from the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Final.”

FIFA hasn’t yet announced any punishment. The organization has launched a probe into how he got onto the field after the game. Additionally, FIFA said that his appearance on the field breached World Cup rules, which say that only winners and heads of state can touch the trophy. The 18-carat World Cup Trophy costs around $21.3 million.

“Following a review, FIFA has been establishing how individuals gained undue access to the pitch after the closing ceremony at Lusail stadium on 18 December. The appropriate internal action will be taken,” the statement said, per Fox News.

Besides Messi, Salt Bae managed to get photos with Angel di Maria, Leandro Paredes, Nicolas Otamendi, Paulo Dybala, and Alexis Mac Allister, among others.

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