The death of an Iranian woman who set herself on fire to protest a ban on females entering football stadiums has prompted an outcry against the country’s draconian law.
Sahar Khodayari self immolated in Tehran last Saturday after leaving a court where she was being tried for attempting to enter Azadi stadium disguised as a man. The woman, who is known as “Blue Girl” after the colours of Esteghlal FC, shouted anti-regime slogans while dousing herself with petrol, witnesses told local press.
Her death was announced in a statement by Motahari hospital on Monday.
Iranian women are banned from attending football stadiums. The incident has prompted a national debate about the ban, with Iranian footballers leading the call to scrap it.
“This horrific incident is the result of a diabolical and outdated mentality that our future generations will have difficulty grasping,” said Massoud Shojaie, captain of the national team.
Amnesty International yesterday called on Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation to put pressure on Iran to end the ban. It said: “The international community must take urgent action to end the ban and to ensure that women are allowed access to all sports stadiums without discrimination.”