Beijing (AFP)

A former Chinese football legend found himself under censorship in his country, after calling for the overthrow of the ruling Communist Party in Beijing.

Hao Haidong, 50, is with 41 goals the top scorer in the history of the national team. Known for his outspokenness, he led a brilliant career in the years 1980 to 2000.

The striker was part of the Chinese team that participated in the 2002 World Cup, the only World Cup contested to date by the Asian giant.

But in a video posted Thursday on YouTube, Hao Haidong criticizes the harmful behavior he believes of political and sports leaders during his playing career, and his impossibility of flourishing in the Chinese system.

"I think this Communist Party system must be chased from the stage of history," insists the footballer, alongside a woman presented as his wife, the former badminton world champion Ye Zhaoying.

"The specter of communism must not continue to hover over the world. This is the conclusion I have come to."

The account of Hao Haidong and his wife on the social network Weibo, where he has more than 7 million subscribers, were both inaccessible on Friday and no Chinese media reported the controversial comments of the player.

In his video, the footballer pledges allegiance to a "Federation of New China", an imaginary Chinese regime which would replace the current "People's Republic of China" led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The hypothetical regime was proclaimed Thursday, the anniversary of the bloody suppression of the Tiananmen movement in 1989, by the controversial Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui. A bane of Beijing, he lives in New York, from where he regularly threatens the Chinese government with resounding revelations about the corruption of the elites.

Himself accused of corruption and wanted by the Chinese justice, this eccentric character, also called Miles Kwok, is close to Steve Bannon, the former adviser of the American president Donald Trump.

AFP established that the video in question showed Hao Haidong well but could not confirm when it was filmed. The location is also unknown. It was first shared on the Twitter account of the Gnews website, linked to Guo Wengui.

© 2020 AFP