Saturday, 21 September, 2019

Iranian female soccer fan 'blue girl' dies after setting herself on fire

Iranian woman dies after setting herself alight to protest sentence for sneaking into football match Iranian female football fan who self-immolated outside court dies
Cary Erickson | 10 September, 2019, 22:20

Soccer fans at a friendly match between Sweden and Iran in Solna near Stockholm on March 31, 2015, urge Iranian authorities to lift a ban on women entering sports stadiums for men's games.

Federation Internationale de Football Association said it was "aware of that tragedy and deeply regret it".

At that point, the poured petrol on herself and set herself on fire, suffering 90 per cent burns to her body.

Sahar Khodayari's favorite soccer team was playing on a spring night in Iran's capital, Tehran, and she made a decision to sneak into the city's main stadium for a glimpse. However, police arrested her after an altercation and detained her.

Sahar Khodayari, 30, was arrested previous year when she tried to go into a stadium dressed as a man to watch her favourite team, Esteghlal FC, the Varzesh 3 sports news outlet said, citing her sister.

Iran has come under pressure from Federation Internationale de Football Association to allow women to attend qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, and was reportedly given a deadline of Aug 31 to comply.

Sahar was bipolar, according to her sister, who was interviewed by Rokna, a local news outlet, on Wednesday. Her condition worsened again after she was taken to jail, her sister said.

Crews work to restore power and clear debris left in Dorian's wake
These potential storms come in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian , a Category 5 storm that ravaged the Bahamas earlier this week. The NHC assures that Gabrielle poses no threat to land areas and is expected to downgrade to a low-pressure system by Tuesday.

After being jailed for three days she was released on bail and waited six months for her court case.

A partial exception came in November when hundreds of Iranian women, who were separated from male supporters, were allowed into the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch the Asian Champions League final.

Iranian-Armenian soccer player Andranik "Ando" Teymourian, the first Christian to be the captain of Iran's national squad and also an Esteghlal player, said in a tweet that one of Tehran's major soccer stadiums will be named after Khodayari, "once, in the future". Female lawmaker Parvaneh Salahshouri called Khodayari "Iran's Girl" and tweeted: "We are all responsible".

She was regularly taken care of by the doctors, but they were not able to prevent her death.

"This discriminatory ban must end immediately and the global community, including football's world governing body, FIFA, and the Asian Football Confederation, must take urgent action to end the ban and to ensure that women are allowed access to all sports stadiums without discrimination or risk of prosecution or punishment", he said.

The ban on women in stadiums is not written into law or regulations, but is "ruthlessly enforced", said Human Rights Watch, calling it a "clear violation of the rules in Fifa".

"What happened to Sahar Khodayari is heartbreaking", Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East research and advocacy director, said in a statement among many expressions of dismay over the fate of Khodayari, who was about 30-years-old.