Iran female fan dies, set herself on fire after ban

Iran female fan dies, set herself on fire after ban

Women in Iran are banned from soccer stadiums, though they are allowed at some other sports, such as volleyball.

"We are aware of that tragedy and deeply regret it", a Federation Internationale de Football Association statement said.

She was pronounced dead at a hospital in Tehran on Monday, per the Guardian.

Esteghlal issued a statement, offering condolences to Khodayari's family.

The woman, referred to as Sahar, which is not her real name, was arrested in March when she tried to enter a football stadium.

As a result, Iran says women will be able to attend qualifying games for the 2022 World Cup which are due to take place in October. When she appeared at court, Khodayari found out her trial had been postponed because the judge had a family emergency, and later overheard someone talking about her possible prison sentence, the BBC reported.

According to her sister, who spoke to state-run media outlets, Khodayari had bipolar disorder and was under the supervision of a doctor.

The semi-official Shafaghna news agency reported today that a 30-year-old woman identified only as Sahar died at a Tehran hospital. She was reportedly posing as a man and was wearing a blue hairpiece and a long overcoat when the police stopped her.

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No verdict had been delivered in her case so far. The conservative Shafaqna news agency acknowledged her death in a brief item Tuesday, noting that the case had drawn worldwide attention and caused "counterrevolutionary media" to cry over the case.

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".

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.

Female politician Parvaneh Salahshouri called Ms Khodayari Iran's Girl and tweeted: "We are all responsible".

The ban is not written into law or regulations but is "ruthlessly enforced" by the country's authorities, said Human Rights Watch, calling it a "clear violation of the rules in FIFA".

Women in Iran have been banned from going into stadiums to watch men's sporting events since 1981, according to Human Rights Watch.

Federation Internationale de Football Association had previously set Iran a deadline of August 31 this year to lift this ban and allow women to attend games, but no change has yet been put into effect.

While a small number of Iranian women have attended select global matches on previous occasions, others have faced prosecution for entering stadiums at other times.