Clermont hires 1st female coach in French pro game

CLERMONT, France (AP) -- A second-tier French soccer team has hired the first female coach in the country's professional soccer leagues.

Clermont hired Helena Costa on Wednesday, adding that ''this nomination should help Clermont enter into a new era'' and that she will work closely with developing the club's youth team players.

The 36-year-old Costa, who is Portuguese, previously worked with the youth set up at Benfica, and coached the women's national teams of Qatar and Iran, as well as working as a scout for Scottish club Celtic.

She will replace Regis Brouard. Clermont is in 14th place with two matches remaining.