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Iranian Female Soccer Fan Dies in Self-Immolation

Iranian Female Soccer Fan Dies in Self-Immolation

Tuesday, 10 September, 2019 - 12:00
FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2011 file photo, supporters of Iranian soccer team Esteghlal, hold flags of their favorite team, at the Azadi (Freedom) stadium, in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

An Iranian female soccer fan has died after setting herself on fire outside a court over fears she would serve a six-month sentence for trying to enter a soccer stadium.

Sahar Khodayari died at a Tehran hospital on Monday, according to the Shafaghna news agency. The 30-year-old was known as the "Blue Girl" on social media for the colors of her favorite Iranian soccer team, Esteghlal.

She set herself on fire last week, reportedly after learning she may have to go to prison for trying to enter a stadium in March to watch an Esteghlal match, the Associated Press reported. She was pretending to be a man and wore a blue hairpiece and a long overcoat when the police stopped her.

Khodayari, who had graduated in computer sciences, then spent three nights in jail before being released pending the court case. No verdict had been delivered in her case so far, AP said.

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

The tragic death immediately drew an outcry among some soccer stars and known figures in Iran.

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