Monday, September 13
Morace resigns two matches into season

 ROME -- Carolina Morace, who made history in June by becoming the first woman coach of an Italian men's professional soccer side, resigned on Monday after just two league matches in charge.

ANSA news agency said Morace quit Serie C side Viterbese complaining of interference from club owner Luciano Gaucci.

She said Gaucci had tried to sack her assistant coach Betty Bavagnoli and the club's trainer following Sunday's 5-2 defeat at southern side Crotone.

"I don't want to live with this precarious situation and without trust .... The decision by Gaucci to substitute my assistants means lack of trust in me," Morace said.

"If this is the climate, I am sorry, but I am not up for it," she added.

But Viterbo denied in a statement that Bavagnoli and the trainer had been fired, adding Morace's resignation was "totally unexpected."

The club said it was "puzzled" her reasons for quitting.

Morace, the most successful woman player in Italian soccer history, was appointed after coaching Lazio's women's side last season. She guided Viterbese to a 3-1 win over Marsala in her first league match in charge.

As a player, the 35-year-old Venetian won 150 caps for Italy in a dazzling career.

She made her Serie A and international debuts aged 14, won 12 Italian League titles with eight different clubs and lifted the Italian Cup four times.

She scored more than 500 goals, including four in one match against England at Wembley Stadium in 1990.

In addition, she is a qualified lawyer with a share of a practice in Rome, and has appeared on soccer television programs as an articulate pundit.

Gaucchi, who is also president of Serie A club Perugia, has a reputation as a hirer and firer of coaches. Ilario Castagner quit the club in February saying he was was creating "tensions and negative repercussions" inside the Perugia camp.