An Iranian female football fan who set herself on fire a week ago has died.
The woman set herself alight in Tehran after her trial, for attempting to enter a football stadium disguised as a man, was postponed. The authorities in Iran regularly stop women from entering stadiums.
Her story has been followed closely by Iranians around the world who used the hashtag “blue girl” – a reference to the colours of her favourite team, Esteqlal of Tehran.
The woman, named as Sahar Khodayari, was arrested in March when she tried to enter a football stadium. After being jailed for three days she was released on bail and waited six months for her court case. But when she appeared at court she found out it had been postponed because the judge had a family emergency.
She later returned to court to pick up her mobile phone and it is widely reported that she is thought to have overheard someone saying that if she were convicted she could get six months to two years in prison.
She then set herself alight in front of the courthouse and later died in hospital.
Women in Iran have been stopped from going to stadiums to watch men’s sporting events since 1981. This was temporarily lifted last year to allow women to watch the World Cup being streamed at a stadium in Tehran.
While the sporting ban is not written into law, it is “ruthlessly enforced”, says Human Rights Watch.