What's The Story?: Don't over-scrutinise Helena Costa, says Gail Emms

Last Updated: 21/05/14 1:16pm

Badminton Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms told What's The Story? she fears Helena Costa will be over 'scrutinised' because she is a woman.

French second-tier football club Clermont Foot announced that the Portuguese manager will take over next season, with Costa, 36, becoming the first female coach of a French professional club.

Emms, whose mother played for England in the 1971 Women's Football World Cup, says that despite breaking boundaries for women in sport, the former Celtic scout will have the media 'vultures' waiting to bring her down after the slightest mistake.

"She is obviously the best person for the job," said Emms. "She has got all the credentials and that's what's most important.

"I'm not saying that she can't do it but the slightest mistake and people won't let her get away with it because she's female."

Gail Emms

"I just hope everyone judges her on her performance and doesn't scrutinise her with a fine tooth comb.

"Coaching is a very male-dominated area - I think it was just 17 per cent of coaches of London 2012 that were female and hopefully this will encourage more women.

"It's got to be the right person, though, and not just because you're female you get job."

"As much as I'd love to be here saying: 'yes, go women, we're in the game,' you know what, I feel sorry for her.

"She's going to be scrutinised so much with people hanging around like vultures waiting for her to make a slight mistake.

"I'm not saying that she can't do it but the slightest mistake and people won't let her get away with it because she's female."

Download this week's What's The Story? podcast for more on Helena Costa's appointment, plus further debate from the world of sport.