China’s all-time record goalscorer Hao Haidong and his wife Ye Zhaoying, an ex-badminton world champion, both face being wiped from the country’s record books after denouncing the Chinese Communist Party  and announcing an intention to overthrow the government. The 50-year-old retired striker, who scored 41 goals for his country between 1992 and 2004, and Ye Zhaoying, 46, married last summer. In a highly unusual move both appeared on Youtube on June 4, as part of a publicity campaign by Guo Wengui, New York-based billionaire critic of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the CCP. Hao Haidong criticised the Chinese government’s handling of almost every domestically sensitive subject: Hong Kong, Tibet, the coronavirus pandemic. He said “This Communist Party should be kicked out of humanity.” By June 4 afternoon the Youtube video had caused a sensation in China despite Youtube being blocked. Titan, a leading state-run sports website, quickly issued a statement that said: “Hao Haidong has made a speech that subverts the government and harms national sovereignty and uses the coronavirus epidemic to smear the Chinese government and spread falsehoods about Hong Kong. . . . We strongly condemn this behavior.”Following their stunning political stand, both of their Weibo accounts have been removed from the platform, and the two major online sports portals in China – Sina Sports and Tencent Sports – made no mention of the couple’s political appeal. Sina no longer yields a single search result for Hao nor Ye.

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