Iran’s ‘blue girl’ female football fan dies after setting herself on fire | World News


An Iranian female football fan who tried to sneak into a stadium dressed as a man has died after setting herself on fire last week.

Sahar Khodayari, 30, became known as “the blue girl” on social media for the colours of her favourite team Esteghlal.

Women are banned from football stadiums in the Islamic Republic, although they are allowed to watch other sports such as volleyball.

Ms Khodarayi, who was wearing a blue hairpiece and long overcoat, pretended to be a man as she tried to enter a football stadium in March.

She spent three nights in jail after being stopped by police and was later released pending a court case.

The computer sciences graduate set herself on fire last week, after reportedly being told she could go to prison for trying to enter the stadium.

Sahar Khodayari was a fan of Esteghlal FC. File pic
Sahar Khodayari was a fan of Esteghlal FC. File pic

She died at a Tehran hospital on Monday, according to the Shafaqna news agency.

No verdict had been delivered in her case.

Iranian footballers have called for reform after Ms Khodayari’s death.

Esteghlal FC issued a statement offering condolences to her family.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Ali Karimi, who played 127 matches for Iran and has been a vocal advocate of ending the ban on women, urged Iranians in a tweet to boycott stadiums to protest against Ms Khodayari’s death.

Iranian-Armenian footballer Andranik “Ando” Teymourian, the first Christian to be the captain of Iran’s national team and also an Esteghlal player, said in a tweet that one of Tehran’s major football stadiums will be named after Ms Khodayari, “once, in the future”.

The minister of information and communications technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, described the death as a “bitter incident”.

Female politician Parvaneh Salahshouri called Ms Khodayari Iran’s Girl and tweeted: “We are all responsible.”

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