/ Soccer

Clermont Foot appoint female head coach

Updated: Monday, 23 Jun 2014 18:08 | Comments

Helena Costa
Helena Costa

Portuguese Helena Costa will be the first woman in charge of a men's professional team in France after she was named Ligue 2 side Clermont Foot's head coach.

"Helena Costa will coach Clermont Foot next season," the club said in a statement.

Costa, 39, is the current manager of the Iran national women's team, having scouted for Celtic and managed the Qatar national women's team.

"It should help the club enter a new era," Clermont added.

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.

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