|Died||9 September 2019 (aged 29)|
|Cause of death||Burns from self-immolation|
|Resting place||Behesht-e Fatemeh, Qom|
|Education||BA in English & interpreting BA in Computer Engineering|
|Known for||Self-immolation in protest of her prison sentence|
|Criminal charge(s)||Woman trying to enter Azadi Stadium against prohibition|
|Criminal penalty||6 months' imprisonment (not confirmed)|
Sahar Khodayari (Persian: ?; Persian pronunciation: [sæhær xod?j?ri:]; c. 1990 - 9 September 2019), also known as Blue Girl,[a] was an Iranian woman known for setting herself on fire in front of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran on 2 September 2019. She was protesting a possible sentence of six months in prison for having tried to enter a public stadium to watch a football game, against the national ban against women at such events. She died a week later of her injuries. Khodayari's self-immolation has generated much debate in Iran about the government's restrictions on women.
With Iran chosen to host select qualifier games for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, FIFA has said that Iran must allow women into the stadium to see those international football matches. Iran guaranteed such entry for the first time after 40 years, one month after Sahar's death. Khodayari has since become a symbol of protest against the Islamic Republic's oppression against women.
The Recessis about Sahar, a 17 year old student who is determined to skip high school during "the recess" to attend the football stadium to watch the sensitive football match between Esteghlal F.C. vs. Al-Ain as part of AFC Champions League against the national ban on women to enter football stadiums in Iran.
Sahar Khodayari was born in 1990 to a family in Salm, Kiar County, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Iran. Her family includes a sister. The family later lived in Tehran. Khodayari graduated from university with degrees in English and in computer sciences. As a young woman she became a fan of the game of football. She was identified as "Blue Girl" on social media, after the colors of her favorite club, Esteghlal FC, based in Tehran.
In March 2019 Khodayari tried to enter Azadi Stadium for a match of AFC Champions League between Esteghlal and Al Ain FC. Because women in Iran have been prohibited since 1981 from attending football matches, she disguised herself as a man to enter undetected. (Women may attend other sports, such as volleyball matches.) But the security guards noticed Khodayari and arrested her for violating the prohibition; they took her to the local NAJA. She was held for three nights in jail before being released on bail, pending her court case.
According to Amnesty International, Sahar Khodayari was ordered six months later to attend a Revolutionary Court in Tehran on 2 September 2019 to give a reason for her attempt to enter Azadi football stadium. She was charged with "openly committing a sinful act by... appearing in public without a hijab" and "insulting officials". While no verdict was delivered in her case because the judge was unavailable, she was reportedly told she might face a six-month jail sentence. After Khodayari left the court, she poured petrol on herself and set herself on fire outside the courthouse in self-immolation.
She died in hospital one week later due to the third-degree burns that she had suffered (approximately 90% of her skin surface area had been affected). According to DW, the six-month jail sentence had been affirmed while she was in hospital.
In October 2019, Iranian women were allowed to attend a soccer match in Iran for the first time in 40 years.