Veteran Chinese footballer Yu Hanchao was reportedly sacked by Guangzhou Evergrande following an incident with the law earlier this week.
The 33-year-old Dalian native ran into trouble with police after he was caught on camera altering his car’s license plate, which is illegal in China.
The real reason for the changes is not officially known, although a number of internet users have speculated that it may have been an attempt to avoid traffic restrictions around Guangzhou, as some roads have restricted certain license plate numbers to deal with traffic and pollution build-up.
After being filmed, the former Chinese international, selected 59 times for his country, was arrested by the Guangzhou police and will remain in custody for 15 days, while would have been fined 5000RMB (£ 566, approximately $ 706).
To add to his problems with the police, Yu Hanchao now finds himself without a job after Guangzhou Evergrande reportedly terminates his contract with immediate effect.
Evergrande has a strict policy on player conduct, whereby they will terminate a person’s contract if they break the law, no matter how serious the situation.
It could have a serious impact on Yu Hanchao’s playing career, with his better days clearly behind him and media control not something Chinese Super League clubs might want to deal with.
Yu Hanchao may not get another chance to play, at least in the high end, with China League One and League Two clubs more likely to forgive this situation if he provides them with enough quality to achieve their goals in 2020.
After starting his professional career with Liaoning FC in 2005, Yu Hanchao won over 380 appearances in total and scored 70 goals, making him one of the most reliable wingers in Chinese football for a time, with a brief move to Dalian A’erbin (now Professional) before moving to Guangzhou.
If the 2019 season is the last time we see Yu Hanchao step onto the pitch, it will be a bitterly disappointing end to what has been a very successful career.
In total, Yu Hanchao won five league titles with Guangzhou, as well as three CFA Super Cups, the 2016 CFA Cup and the 2015 AFC Champions League. He also helped Liaoning win the China League One title in 2009. .