First female coach of men’s football team resigns before new season starts

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THE first female manager of a men’s football team has resigned today before taking charge of a single game.

Helena Costa, 36, mysteriously quit as boss of French side Clermont after just two months in the job.

The Portugese coach did not reveal the reason for her decision during a press conference with club president Claude Michy who said Costa was leaving with “her secret”.

But in a statement released later on Costa said she quit after players were signed without her consent and she was shown a “total lack of respect”.

Costa also said the sporting director of the Ligue 2 club did not reply to any of her e-mails during a five-day period. She described it as “a sequence of events which no coach would allow as they revealed a total lack of respect as well as total amateurism.”

Costa added: “For any leader in an organisation who is responsible for a team, it’s unacceptable.”

Costa was lauded when she became the first female coach of a men’s team in a club from the first two divisions in the major European leagues on May 7.

She was heralded as a dynamic change for force in a sport dominated by men but has quit without meeting the Clermont squad.

In a joint news conference this morning Costa and Michy would not disclose details of her resignation.

Michy said: “She’s a woman.

“They are capable of leading us to believe in certain things.” Costa added: “I had a lot of points that I discussed personally with the president and after that discussion I took my decision.

“The president knows exactly what it is and he’s the only person that I have to discuss (it with).”

Costa, who previously coached the Iran women’s national team and scouted for Scottish giants Celtic, said she did not make her decision lightly.

She added that she hoped she would be given more opportunities in football in the future.

She said: “I thought over my holidays so of course I would appreciate if I could continue but it was my decision so I have no reasons to be sad.

“I hope in the future other opportunities will come.”

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