First top woman football manager quits before starting

Portugal’s Helena Costa said on Tuesday she has decided against taking up the coaching position at French side Clermont for “purely personal” reasons.

Costa, 36, made global headlines as the first woman to take charge of a men’s professional team in a leading European nation.

She was named to coach Clermonth, a French second division team, in May.

But club president Claude Michy took everyone aback on Monday with the sudden announcement that the ground-breaking deal had fallen through.

Costa said she had explained her decision in private to Michy and that she would have no further comnments to make.

Michy, however, called Costa’s decision “astonishing, surprising, incomprehensible”.

Unable to change mind

“She simply said: ‘I am leaving’, and we were not able to get her to change her mind. She takes her secret with her.

“She had developed a problem of confidence in the situation, but I have no idea what it was that caused this.”

The club has a solid structure and we will hire another coach, male or female, he said.

Source: AFP