Soccer’s ‘blue girl’ dies after setting herself on fire in Iran – National

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An Iranian lady detained for dressing as a person to sneak right into a soccer stadium to look at a match has died after setting herself on fireplace upon studying she might spend six months in jail, semi-official information retailers reported Tuesday.

The self-immolation loss of life of 29-year-old Sahar Khodayari has shocked Iranian officers and the general public, changing into a direct hashtag development throughout social media within the Islamic Republic.

It additionally comes as FIFA is working with Iranian authorities to beat a ban on ladies getting into stadiums for males’s video games, a ban in place because the nation’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. FIFA needs the difficulty resolved earlier than Oct. 10 when Iran — the top-ranked staff in Asia — hosts its first residence World Cup qualifier towards Cambodia.

FIFA mentioned Tuesday it was “conscious of that tragedy and deeply remorse it.”

“FIFA convey our condolences to the household and associates of Sahar and reiterate our calls on the Iranian authorities to make sure the liberty and security of any ladies engaged on this reliable struggle to finish the stadium ban for girls in Iran,” FIFA mentioned in an announcement.


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Khodayari died on Monday at a Tehran hospital after struggling burns throughout 90% of her physique. She had been on a respirator since dousing herself with gasoline in entrance of Tehran’s Ershad Courthouse on Sept. 2, based on the Iranian information web site Rokna, which publishes in Iran with authorities permission.

She had simply discovered she may very well be tried by a Revolutionary Courtroom in Iran and be put in jail for six months, her father advised the web site.

Khodayari’s sister advised Iran’s pro-reform Shahrvand newspaper that her sister suffered from bipolar dysfunction. Her father mentioned she had stopped taking medicine a 12 months in the past.

Outstanding lawmaker Ali Motahari, who’s near Iran’s comparatively reasonable President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted that Khodayari didn’t deserve jail time and providing her “some recommendation” would have been sufficient.

In March, Khodayari tried to sneak into Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to look at her favourite staff, Esteghlal, tackle the United Arab Emirates staff Al Ain. As in different matches, she disguised herself as a person by sporting a blue wig and a protracted overcoat, gaining the nickname the “Blue Woman.” Nonetheless, police arrested her after an altercation and detained her.

She spent three nights in jail earlier than being launched pending the courtroom case. She reportedly returned to the courtroom to retrieve her seized cell phone and heard she might face jail time.

Information of her loss of life ricocheted throughout Iran on Tuesday, with tributes hashtagged “BlueGirl.”

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Former Bayern Munich midfielder Ali Karimi — who performed 127 matches for Iran and has been a vocal advocate of ending the ban on ladies — urged Iranians in a tweet to boycott soccer stadiums to protest Khodayari’s loss of life.

Iranian-Armenian soccer participant Andranik “Ando” Teymourian, the primary Christian to be the captain of Iran’s nationwide squad and likewise an Esteghlal participant, mentioned in a tweet that considered one of Tehran’s main soccer stadiums ought to be named after Khodayari “sooner or later.”

Feminine lawmaker Parvaneh Salahshouri referred to as Khodayari “Iran’s Woman” and tweeted: “We’re all accountable.”

There was no report on Khodayari’s loss of life from Iranian state media, nor its outstanding semi-official information businesses. The conservative Shafaqna information company acknowledged her loss of life in a short merchandise Tuesday, noting that the case had drawn worldwide consideration and induced “counterrevolutionary media” to cry over the case.

FIFA has been making an attempt to push Iran to permit ladies in for matches. A partial exception got here in November when a whole lot of Iranian ladies, who had been separated from male supporters, had been allowed into the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to look at the Asian Champions League last.

Nonetheless, native matches have continued the restriction. Volleyball, one other fashionable sport, equally sees officers bar ladies from attending males’s video games within the capital, Tehran, although ladies had been allowed in some matches in different Iranian cities.

Exhausting-liners and conventional Shiite clerics, citing their very own interpretation of Islamic regulation, consider in segregating women and men at public occasions, in addition to holding ladies out of males’s sports activities.

Nonetheless, that has drawn criticism from human rights activists overseas, in addition to at residence.

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“The stadium ban shouldn’t be written into regulation or regulation however is ruthlessly enforced by the nation’s authorities,” wrote Mindy Worden, the director of worldwide initiatives at Human Rights Watch.

She added that Khodayari’s suicide underscores “the necessity for Iran to finish its ban on ladies attending sports activities matches — and the urgency for regulating our bodies like FIFA to implement its personal human rights guidelines.”

Amnesty Worldwide individually mentioned that so far as it is aware of, “Iran is the one nation on the earth that stops and punishes ladies” searching for to enter soccer stadiums. Saudi Arabia, a longtime holdout, just lately began permitting ladies to attend matches underneath a push from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“What occurred to Sahar Khodayari is heart-breaking and exposes the influence of the Iranian authorities’ appalling contempt for girls’s rights within the nation,” mentioned Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Center East and North Africa analysis and advocacy director.

“Her solely ‘crime’ was being a girl in a rustic the place ladies face discrimination that’s entrenched in regulation and performs out in probably the most horrific methods conceivable in each space of their lives, even sports activities,” Luther added.

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