Simon Jordan Accuses FIFA and Gianni Infantino of 'CRONISM' After Salt Bae's Shenanigans

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Simon Jordan has accused FIFA of favoritism following the antics of celebrity chef Salt Bae, who joined Argentina’s on-field celebrations following their World Cup victory.

Salt Bae – whose real name is Nusret Gokce – was photographed with the World Cup trophy and took pictures with several Argentine stars at the Lusail Stadium.

In a series of videos posted to his own Instagram, the famous grill man interrupted the likes of Angel di Maria, Cristian Romero and Lisandro Martinez as they posed with the World Cup, leaving the trio looking rather awkward as a result.

Simon Jordan has accused FIFA of clientelism after Salt Bae’s (above) antics on the field in the World Cup final, with the celebrity chef known to be a friend of president Gianni Infantino

The chef was also seen desperately trying to get Lionel Messi’s attention, despite the player not seeming interested in talking to him, before making another attempt to pull the Argentine back to his feet – he ended up taking a photo with the 35-year-old. – old, but Messi didn’t seem too pleased about it.

Gokce is known to be a close friend of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and has actually breached the world governing body’s strict regulations on who can touch the World Cup trophy.

“Its current design dates back to 1974,” says the FIFA website. ‘As one of the world’s most recognizable sporting symbols and an invaluable icon, the original FIFA World Cup Trophy can only be touched and held by a very select group of people, which includes former FIFA World Cup winners and heads of state .’

And Jordan criticized FIFA after Salt Bae’s antics on Sunday, arguing it was an abuse of power.

He was spotted trying to get Lionel Messi's attention

Messi tried to free himself from Gokce's hand

He was seen trying to get Lionel Messi’s attention only for him to initially ignore him.

Messi finally allowed Gokce a photo, although he looked far from pleased about it.

Messi finally allowed Gokce a photo, although he looked far from pleased about it.

Jordan criticized FIFA's antics regarding Salt Bae's behavior and also criticized Infantino

Jordan criticized FIFA’s antics regarding Salt Bae’s behavior and also criticized Infantino

‘Maybe he thought he had an interest in the event,’ joked the former Crystal Palace chairman on talkSPORT, referring to Salt Bae’s steakhouse.

“Of course it is clientelism. It is absolutely. You look at him and say, “Why would that happen?” So you see where Infantino eats when he’s there.

‘It’s ridiculous. It’s a ridiculous look. We have Messi wearing a traditional Arab robe, which was weird, but I understand why they did that.

‘Now we have these arrogant chefs that we have a beef with because they’re taking the field.

‘Defy convention, break protocol. Looks like patronage, smells like patronage, walks and talks like patronage, so guess what it is? It’s bloody clientelism.

‘It’s unprofessional. There is no place for him. He shouldn’t be on the field.

Salt Bae violated FIFA regulations on who can touch the official trophy

Salt Bae violated FIFA regulations on who can touch the official trophy

Infantino also drew criticism for his role at the World Cup, with the steward making several outlandish remarks during an hour-long speech early on in the tournament, while he also appeared to be front and center during Argentina’s clinching of the trophy.

And Jordan believes the FIFA president’s reputation has been damaged by his behavior in Qatar.

He added: ‘What is FIFA doing? When they walk around town, they really let you know they’re there. It’s like the Vatican collapsing in some places.

“I’m surprised they want that kind of scrutiny. By the very nature of Infantino smacking his gums, he has drawn extra attention to everything FIFA does. So you want the look to be right.

The celebrity chef pressed several Argentine stars for a photo with the World Cup trophy

The celebrity chef pressed several Argentine stars for a photo with the World Cup trophy

Jordan also criticized Infantino for his behavior throughout the tournament, including the final.

Jordan also criticized Infantino for his behavior throughout the tournament, including the final.

‘You want standards to be maintained. You don’t need a cocky cook running around the pitch putting his arm around a player who just won the World Cup. It’s not necessary and it’s not the look we want.’

Salt Bae rose to prominence in 2017 after an iconic video of him sprinkling salt on a steak went viral online.

Since then, the 39-year-old has developed friendships with many high profile celebrities, including several football stars who regularly visit his restaurants, where he charges £1,450 for a steak.

He was also photographed with official FIFA accreditation while on the field, although the governing body did not comment on how this happened.

In light of Salt Bae’s uncomfortable antics, FIFA is facing questions about his access to the pitch and his behaviour.

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