French club hires first female coach

Ligue 2 side Clermont become the highest-profile men's team to name a female manager in Helena Costa.

    Costa won two World Youth titles with Benfica's academy as a player [AFP]
    Costa won two World Youth titles with Benfica's academy as a player [AFP]

    Portugal's Helena Costa is to be the highest-profile female manager of a European men's team after being named head coach of Clermont Foot Auvergne 63 in France.

    Costa, a former scout for Scottish Premiership side Celtic, has coached the Iran women's team since 2012.

    This nomination should help Clermont enter into a new era.

    Club statement, Clermont Foot Auvergne 63

    The 36-year-old, who has also coached Benfica's male youth teams and the Qatar women's side, will join Clermont officially at the end of the season.

    "This nomination should help Clermont enter into a new era'' The French Ligue 2 club said.

    Costa's playing success

    Costa joined Benfica's academy as a teenager in 1997 and progressed from the Under 9s team to coaching the club's Uncder 17s, whom she led to two World Youth titles.

    Clermont are 14th in Ligue 2 with two matches to go and defender Anthony Lippini – who is currently recovering from a knee injury – has admitted he is curious to see what changes Costa will make when she begins her new post in the summer.

    The news was also welcomed by Najat Belkacem, France's Women's Minister, who said on Twitter: "Bravo Clermont Foot for understanding that giving a place to women is the future of professional football."

    Before Costa, the highest-profile appointment of a woman as coach of a men's team in Europe was that of Carolina Morace, who took charge of Italian Serie C1 team Viterbese for two matches in 1999.  

    SOURCE: AP


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