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Iran in no hurry to allow women into stadiums after 'Blue Girl' death

The suicide of an Iranian soccer fan has reignited the issue of allowing women into Iran's stadiums, but the administration is unlikely to work toward a solution anytime soon.
Esteghlal supporters attend the AFC Champions League group C football match between Iran's Esteghlal and Qatar's Al Duhail at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran on May 6, 2019. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Sahar Khodayari, disguised as a man due to Iran’s ban on women in stadiums, attempted to attend a soccer game between Tehran’s Esteghlal FC and Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain FC at Tehran's Azadi Stadium in March 2019. She was arrested and released on bail days later. At the courthouse earlier this week, where her case was postponed, she reportedly overheard she could face six months in prison. She set herself on fire outside of the courthouse and later died at the hospital. 

Khodayari was dubbed “Blue Girl” for the color of her favorite soccer team, Esteghlal FC. One of the great ironies in this case is that her favorite team’s name means “independence” in Persian and the stadium she was arrested for entering, Azadi, means “freedom.”

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