Portuguese Helena Costa is the first female coach of a French professional club

Helena Costa takes over at Ligue 2's Clermont Foot as first female manager


French second-tier outfit Clermont Foot have announced that Portuguese manager Helena Costa will take over next season. Costa, 36, will become the first female coach of a French professional club.

Announcing the appointment on Wednesday,a statement on the club's official site confirmed that Costa – who was most recently coach of the Iran women's team – will be introduced to the media after this season's final fixtures have been completed.

"Clermont Foot 63 has chosen Helena Costa to be our new coach," read the statement.

"Helena Costa came through the ranks at Benfica before taking charge of the women's teams at Odivelas, then the national teams of Qatar and Iran, in addition to working as a scout for Celtic.

"This appointment will allow Clermont Foot 63 to begin a new era, relying on a group of 17 players currently under contract, which will be added young players from the club." Clermont are 14th in Ligue 2 with two matches to go.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, France had Nelly Viennot as the first woman to be assistant referee in an elite match. Viennot also served as assistant referee in Champions League games.

In Germany, referee Bibiana Steinhaus officiates in second division games. She is the first woman referee in the second Bundesliga and the first to have been a referee in the German Cup.

In Spain, Maria Jose Claramunt is the director of the national team, responsible more for marketing than sporting issues.


this is great news! hopefully sooner than later we'll have female managers at major professional clubs.
oh, and Portuguese coaches keep on slaying.