Clermont, a second division club in the French League have announced Helena Costa as their head coach for next season.
Her appointment makes her the first woman to take charge of a professional
football team in the country.
Only one other woman, Carolina Morace, has coached a professional men’s team in Europe, having managed third-tier Italian side Viterbese for just two matches in
1999 before leaving because of constant media pressure.
Costa has been in charge of Iran’s women’s national team since 2012 but has now agreed to succeed Regis Brouard at Clermont, who are destined to finish in lower mid-table this season.
The 36-year-old Portuguese coach was in charge of the Qatar women’s national side between 2010 and her move to Iran, will be presented to media upon conclusion of the current campaign.
She has worked as head coach at the Benfica youth academy and with various women’s teams in her homeland, where she won a number of national titles.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “This appointment allows Clermont Foot 63 to enter into a new era by counting on the squad of 17 players currently under contract, to which will be added young players who have come through the club’s ranks.”