Football Fan Sets Herself Ablaze in Protest of Repressive Law

Sahar Khodayari

A 29-year-old Iranian female football fan Sahar Khodayari set herself on fire outside a courtroom, after learning she may face six months in prison for trying to enter a Tehran’s Azadi freedom stadium while pretending to be a man at the stadium with a blue hairpiece and a long overcoat in March 2019, but was stopped by police.

When she was caught by the police, she spent three nights in jail before being released, pending the court case. But after learning, she may be imprisoned for trying to enter the stadium she set herself ablaze.

Unfortunately, Khodayari popularly known as the “Blue Girl” on social media for the colours of her favourite Iranian soccer team, Esteghlal, passed on at a hospital in Tehran. Her death immediately sparked outrage in Iran, where women are banned from football stadiums, although they are allowed to watch other sports, such as volleyball. Chelsea Football club expressed sadness over her death, calling upon stadiums to be open to all.

Reports say that the young woman, a computer sciences graduate, had attempted to take her life once before, while in university. Her sister had told an Iranian state news outlet that Khodayari had a mental health condition and was receiving treatment, a mitigating factor that would have allowed authorities to drop the charges if they chose.

Her favourite Iranian soccer team, Esteghlal send their condolences to her family in a statement. No verdict had yet been delivered in her case.

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Inzillia is an avid reader and researcher on matters finance, business, government affairs, culture, and human interest stories. Poetry too. Email: