Shot completely by Dhorasoo and the director, Fred Poulet, the film documents the footballer’s lonely journey through World Cup 2006 in Germany, as he struggles to find a place on the French team. Playing an integral role in every match of the qualifying rounds leading up to the World Cup, Dhorasoo found himself relegated to the bench during the entire tournament, making only brief appearances against Switzerland and South Korea.
Dhorasoo, a former AC Milan and Paris St-Germain player, is shockingly candid in his dialogue, from his feelings of betrayal by French coach, Raymond Domenech, to his growing frustration of being isolated from the action. “My World Cup, what is it? It’s my room and poker games,” Dhorasoo declares.
This sense of alienation is evident throughout the film and is further conveyed through the raw style in which it has been shot and edited. Even in a pre-tournament friendly against Mexico when Dhorasoo is brought on for Zidane, a chorus of boos and hisses ensue from the crowd. He tries to rationalise: “I’m the guy stealing someone else’s place and I’m the guy replacing Zidane. Everyone expected Ribery, someone else than me.”
In a defining moment, as the French side pour onto the pitch to celebrate their victory over Portugal in the semi-finals, we see Dhorasoo’s solitary figure shunned by his team-mates, as he walks away awkwardly without so much as a smile or a pat on the back.
Dhorasoo still has to keep up the pretences of wanting to be there and tries to convince himself that he is part of the team, despite the fact that he has been excluded almost every step of the way to become more of a spectator than a player.
“I’m not playing for my career, nor for my place on the team since I’m on it. I just would like to get some more playtime. I’d like to please those who want me to play. In my career, I played to save my ass. I played to get a deal. But this isn’t what it’s all about. I wouldn’t feel right if they stole my World Cup from me.”
*Vikash Dhorasoo will be available for interview in Birmingham and London on April 23rd and April 24th
London – April 24th
Venue: The Hub, Regents Park
Interview times: 9am-6pm
The Hub is a multi-sport community and a major venue for a host of community and sporting activities.
For more information and to book an interview slot please contact:
Pedro Carvalho, FNIK PR Puja Vedi, LiveStyle Media
07831 556951 07949 573065
Notes to the editor
• Substitute, directed by Fred Poulet, is being released in select cinemas in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leicester from May 9th
• Vikash Dhorasoo is the first Asian to play in the World Cup. He was born near Le Havre in Normandy and his parents are Indo-Mauritian
• Vikash Dhorasoo is an attacking midfielder and began his career with Le Havre and subsequently played for Lyon, Bordeaux, AC Milan, Livorno, and Paris St-Germain
• Substitute is filmed on a 8mm camera
• Substitute features extremely rare footage of a desolate French dressing room after they lose the World Cup Final to Italy on July 9th 2006
• The film also exposes the stark reality of a footballer’s life that the public would never otherwise see. Far from the glitzy world of fashion and luxury famously portrayed by the WAG’s, the players are extremely sheltered and are snuck into hotels through back entrances, confined to their rooms and must endure tight security and strict schedules.