Cadiz player refusing to play during coronavirus: 'Disgraceful' to pay me

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Cadiz defender Rafael Gimenez Jarque "Fali" has said it would be "disgraceful" for the club to pay him before he returns and has asked them to stop his wages until a coronavirus vaccine has been made available.

Last month, Fali threatened to quit professional football if forced to return to training before a vaccine for the coronavirus had been found.

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Spanish second division leaders Cadiz were among the clubs that gave coronavirus tests to players, coaches and staff on Wednesday as part of the La Liga protocol for the competition to resume next month and finish the 2019-20 season this summer.

"I have no intention of playing," Fali told Cadena Cope. "I think there are too many risks right now. I will return when there's a vaccine or a medication to stop COVID-19.

"I have told the [club] president that I'm not going to get paid because it would be disgraceful not to help my teammates in training or in a game and still get paid. I have principles. The president is such a good person that wants to pay me and I told him that if he deposits one euro of wages, I will give it back."

Fali was the only player from his club not to report to training for testing. He insists he is "frightened" and claims many other players are as well.

"We seem like superheroes but we are people," Fali added. "I know I have to face this but I don't know when this fear will go away.

"I'm not going to give names but there are many players that are frightened of playing and they have told me that. I will pray for them. I respect the decision of my teammates and all of them have respected my decision."

The Spanish government announced on Wednesday that 25,857 people in the country have died from the virus, with 220,325 confirmed cases. Spain has been in a state of emergency since March 13 and will remain so until at least May 24.

Fali, who signed a two-year contract extension with Cadiz in February, keeping him at the club until June 2024, said that he understands his decision will have financial implications for his family.

"We are first in the Spanish second division and I know that if we win five or six games of the 11 we have left, we will be in the top flight and that will solve my life," he added. "Yet, I'm giving all that up primarily for the health of my daughters, and mine. I'm tightening the belt, I have a bit of money saved up."

Cadiz president Manuel Vizcaino has said that he is hopeful Fali will reconsider.

"We are going to try at all costs for Fali to change his position," Vizcaino said. "We will back him but he has a problem. He is making a mistake but he is not lying, he is frightened. We just have to work so that his fear goes away."