Veteran Chinese footballer Yu Hanchao has reportedly been sacked by Guangzhou Evergrande following an incident with the law earlier this week.
The 33-year-old Dalian native has found himself in trouble with police after he was caught on video making alterations to the license plate of his car, something that is illegal in China.
The real reason for the alterations is not officially known, though a number of netizens have surmised that it could have been an attempt to avoid driving restrictions around Guangzhou, with certain roads restricted certain license plate numbers to manage traffic and pollution build up.
After being caught on video, the former Chinese international, capped 59 times for his country, was detained by Guangzhou police and will remain in custody for 15 days, while also reportedly receiving a fine of 5000RMB (£566, $706 roughly).
To add to his troubles with the police, Yu Hanchao now finds himself without a job after Guangzhou Evergrande reportedly terminated his contract with immediate effect.
Evergrande has a strict policy on player conduct, where they will terminate a person’s contract if they break the law, no matter how severe the situation.
This could have a serious impact on Yu Hanchao’s playing career, with his best days clearly behind him and the media scrutiny not something clubs in the Chinese Super League might want to deal with.
Yu Hanchao may not get another chance to play, at the very least in the top tier, with clubs in China League One and League Two 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 has earned over 380 total appearances and scored 70 goals, making him one of the most reliable wingers in Chinese football for a time, with a brief spell at Dalian A’erbin (now Professional) before his move to Guangzhou.
If the 2019 season is the last time we saw Yu Hanchao take to the pitch, it will be a bitterly disappointing end to what has been a very successful career.
In total, Yu Hanchao has won five league titles with Guangzhou, along with three CFA Super Cups, the 2016 CFA Cup and the 2015 AFC Champions League. He also helped Liaoning to the 2009 China League One title.