Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

Sports

Costa named as first woman boss of Ligue 2's Clermont Foot

© © Helena Costa / Facebook

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-07

Portuguese manager Helena Costa joined the tiny group of women who have been hired to coach men’s professional football teams on Wednesday when Clermont Foot announced she would be its head coach next season.

Clermont may only be 14th in France’s Ligue 2, but it will be the biggest men’s club ever coached by a woman.

Carolina Morace, a former Italian international, took over Viterbese in Serie C in Italy in 1999 but, under intense scrutiny, lasted just two matches. She has since coached the Italian and Canadian national women’s teams.

In 2012 Nelfi Ibanez Guerra took over Hijos de Acosvinchos, a financially troubled Peruvian semi-professional team, but lasted just a few months.

Costa, 36, has worked in men’s football for some time. She coached the Benfica youth team and has been a scout for Glasgow Celtic since 2008.

She is currently employed as head coach of the Iran’s national women’s team. Before that she set up and coached Qatar national women's team.

“Football people are surprised, but there are many women leaders in business or politics,” Claude Michy, the Clermont president said. “In Germany, the Chancellor is a woman!”

Clermont Foot lives in the shadow of the town’s far more successful rugby club which has won the French title and reached European finals in recent years. In contrast, the football club has enjoyed a few good cup runs but never finished above fifth in the second division and has spent long spells in lower regional leagues.

'New era'

The statement that announced that "Helena Costa will coach Clermont Foot next season," added: "It should help the club enter a new era."

“It’s important to be provocative,” said Michy, adding that he wanted people “to talk about Clermont.”

"When you choose a coach there’s no guarantee it will succeed, be it a man or a woman,” said Michy, who promotes motor sports events. “I'm a macho guy. That’s the first thing I told her.”

Michy pointed out that Costa’s nationality was also a bonus.

Costa will bring attention but that could be a mixed blessing. In June 1999, before she had even coached a game, Morace talked about the reaction to her appointment with the UK Independent.

“I have discovered in the past few days that the Italian male is scared of women. I realise this from the questions I am asked," she said.

"I realised that everyone would be watching me closely but not that they'd have their guns cocked. And it makes me angry to be judged before I have even started. I might fail but that has nothing to do with my sex."

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-05-07

  • FRANCE-CYCLING

    Podium boys to offer prizes, kisses in women's Tour de France

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France marks 70 years of women’s voting rights

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Bielsa to take the reins of Marseille

    Read more

COMMENT(S)