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Rediff.com  » Sports » French football club hires woman to coach its men; meet her

French football club hires woman to coach its men; meet her

May 09, 2014 07:45 IST

French football club hires woman to coach its men; meet her

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Portuguese football manager Helena Costa has become the highest-profile female manager in European men's football after being named head coach of the French Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot.

The 36 year-old, nicknamed ‘Mourinho in a petticoat’, is a former manager of the Qatar and Iran women's national football teams.

She will take charge of the French club at the end of the 2013-14 season.

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Image: Helena Costa
Photographs: Courtesy: Helena Costa/Facebook

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According to the BBC, Clermont Foot said appointing Costa, who is a former scout for Scottish Premiership side Celtic, as their head coach should help the club enter a new era.

Before Costa, Carolina Morace was reportedly the highest-profile female to coach a men's team in Europe after taking charge of Italian Serie C1 team Viterbese for two matches in 1999.

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Image: Helena Costa
Photographs: Courtesy: Helena Costa/Facebook

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Costa has formerly coached Benfica's male youth teams and also managed Portuguese lower-league men's team Cheleirense, where she won the Lisbon regional championship in 2006, the report added.

FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter, wrote on his Twitter account: “Great news for women in football today.”

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Image: Helena Costa
Photographs: Courtesy: Helena Costa/Facebook

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France's women's minister Najat Belkacem hailed Clermont Foot on Twitter for understanding that giving a place to women is the future of professional football.

Costa will replace former Montpellier midfielder Regis Brouard, whose contract as head coach expires at the end of this season.

 


Image: Helena Costa
Photographs: Getty Images

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