Vikash Dhorasoo: Vocal for change

Aug 18, 2020

Life Stories

Vikash Dhorasoo

Beginnings

Vikash Dhorasoo was born in Harfleur in 1973. He is of Indian descent and his parents had come from Mauritius. His father worked in Le Havre, in a tough, left-wing working-class district. Vikash never forgot the racial prejudice that he knew growing up in Le Havre. He was a talented junior footballer with Le Havre AC and was signed by the elite team Olympique Lyonnais in 1988.

The Dribbler

Vikash Dhorasoo was loved by fans in Lyon as ‘the best dribbler in the club’s history’. He won two Ligue 1 titles with Lyon before moving to AC Milan in 2004. A year later he went back to France, to Paris St Germain. Vikash Dhorasoo first played for France in 1999 and was in the France squad for the 2006 World Cup. But his career faded, and he retired as a player in 2008.

The Outsider

Vikash Dhorasoo was always a rebel, with strong opinions about race and social issues. Educated and articulate, he often fought back against coaches and teammates he thought were racists or bullies. Vikash campaigned strongly in favour of Paris Foot Gay, a club founded to combat homophobia and discrimination in football. He also backed anti-poverty groups around the world, using the wealth he gained as a professional poker player.

Thinking points

Dhorasoo was an intelligent, articulate footballer, who never backed away from challenges. He experienced racism as a young boy from Indian descent living in Le Havre. He sometimes clashed with coaches and managers who tried to force him to conform. From the age of 30 he campaigned against discrimination and homophobia. Although he played for the France national team, he was critical of the “myth” that the “Black-White-Beige” France team in the 2000s was a symbol of racial integration.

Educators could look at the life story of Vikash Dhorasoo and work with young people to consider this question:

  1. What does the life story of Vikash Dhorasoo tell us about colonial migration, race and French society?
  2. What potential do football players have to become social advocates?

Find out more

Find out more about Vikash Dhorasoo on These Football Times. You can also read more about his life on The Independent. Finally, another perspective is found in an interview he did with the Hindustan Times.

COVER Image

Vikash Dhorasoo demonstrating pension reform in Paris, January 9, 2020 (Photo: Manuel Menal)

Vikash Dhorasoo demonstrating pension reform in Paris, January 9, 2020 (Photo: Manuel Menal).

Life Story

An advocate for equality and social issues.

58

Article Tags:   discrimination  |   diversity  |   lgbt+  |   politics

Do you wanna know more?

HISTORY CAN BE EXPLORED THROUGH THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS

Stories

Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.

Videos

Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.

Educational Resources

Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.

Trending Stories

Refugees

Refugees

In the wake of the 2015 migration peak, activists and volunteers across Europe have been involved in supporting refugees, sometimes with the simple act of offering space and friendship to participate in football through grassroots clubs to help newcomers integrate.

LATEST POST  You may also be interested in

Only girl on the field

Only girl on the field

This article is the result of a webinar series from EuroClio which tackled football and social issues to explore how football history and society intertwine.

Match of Inhumanity

Match of Inhumanity

Today in 1944 football was played in the concentration camp Tezerin. What does this propaganda footage tell us about the Holocaust?

Share This