18.1.6.1. Hao Haidong (郝海东, 2020)

Hao is widely considered one of the best Chinese soccer players of all time, and he was the top scorer for the Chinese national team of all time as of 2020, and one of the only two Chinese to show on IFFHS Legends page which as of 2020 contains only 52 players including the likes of Pelé and Maradona.

He participated in the 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup (世界杯) qualifiers, and therefore also at the 2002 FIFA World Cup proper held in South Korea and Japan, which is the only World Cup China classified for as of 2020, and in which it failed to score a single goal.

On 2020-06-03, one day before Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 (六四事件) anniversary, Hao appeared with his wife Ye Zhaoying (叶钊颖, married 2019), who was also a badmington star, on Guo Wengui (郭文贵)'s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4aN5h0RqD8&t=4496, and spoke up against the CCP:

As a result, his son Hao Runze (郝润泽, from a previous marriage) who is also a soccer player and had nothing to do with it was also sacked from the Serbian club Radnicki Nis in which he played one week later due to pressure from China: https://www.scmp.com/sport/football/article/3088385/hao-haidongs-son-sacked-serbian-club-radnicki-nis-after-pressure The wiki page says that https://www.b92.net/sport/fudbal/vesti.php?yyyy=2020&mm=06&dd=09&nav_id=1693254 says the team says it was just a coincidence and that his contract had ended.

The most interesting thing about all of this, is how Hao’s name was completely nuked form the Chinese Internet, making this a fantastic opportunity to unambiguously document a censorship event. One is reminded of:

The keyword is clear: iconoclasm (破坏偶像主义)

Some examples:

Online reactions:

Listings of the 2002 squad:

Random info about Haidong:

Hao Haidong kick
Figure 214. Hao Haidong (in white) playing for the China national team against the Hong Kong’s national team in a World Cup Asian zone qualifying match at Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground in 2004. Request for James Fridman to remove Haidong from the picture in reference to Censorship of images in the Soviet Union (苏联对图像的审查): https://twitter.com/cirosantilli/status/1308670186640289792. Photo by: South China Morning Post (SCMP, 南华早报). Source.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgSwRwFBNFA Hao Haidong’s top 10 goals, all with CCTV 5 watermark :-)