Iranian woman sets herself on fire after being handed jail time for going to soccer game

An Iranian female soccer fan has died after setting herself on fire outside a court after learning she may have to serve a six-month sentence for trying to enter a soccer stadium, a semi-official news agency reported Tuesday.

The tragic death immediately drew an outcry among some soccer stars and known figures in Iran, where women are banned from soccer stadiums, though they are allowed at some other sports, such as volleyball.

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 colours of her favourite 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. She was pretending to be a man and wore a blue hairpiece and a long overcoat when the police stopped her.