Cadiz player threatens to quit football if forced to play before coronavirus vaccine available

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Cadiz defender Rafael Gimenez Jarque "Fali" has threatened to quit professional football at 26 if he is forced to return to train before a vaccine for the coronavirus is available.

La Liga and the Spanish FA are hopeful the 2019-20 campaign will be completed and agreed this week on a strict protocol to follow for training to resume once the country's health authorities permit it.

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"If there's a 1% chance that there is a risk of me getting the coronavirus, I'm not playing," Fali, who plays for Spanish second division leaders Cadiz, told Cadena Cope.

"I would quit football if I had to return to train knowing that there is a risk that I can get infected and infect others. I've told my wife, my family, my agent and my teammates this. I would never forgive myself if I infected someone else."

Fali, who was a youth product of Barcelona, wants 100% assurances from La Liga and from authorities that the health of players will not be compromised.

"With possible dates being considered for a return to play, if it's true that players are not at risk of getting infected, I want La Liga and health authorities to at least sign a contract with the players giving us 100% assurances that it's safe," he said.

"And if one player gets infected, for their lives also to be ruined [because of the contract] just as our lives would be if we were to get infected or infect people around us. If that is not possible, then they should come out and tell the truth. I don't believe that a virus that hasn't been able to be controlled or stopped, that we cannot be exposed to."

Spain has been in a state of emergency since March 13 and will remain so until at least May 9.

As of April 22, Spain had had 21,717 deaths from COVID-19 with 208,389 people infected. Fali believes it should be the players to decide their fate.

"They are playing with our lives," he said. "Sooner or later, football continues but the life of someone ends. Players should be able to vote if they want to play or not. We should resume in three or four months' time or whenever it's safe. When we have 100 percent guarantees."

Fali is not the only La Liga player worried about the risk of infection. Celta Vigo's Rafinha believes that just one case of infection will jeopardise the league if it resumes.

"Football is not essential, it's there to entertain, and this is not a time to entertain but for everyone to lend a hand," Fali said. "We are crazy to think that we can play.

"I don't think it's logical for 22 players to risk their lives."

Fali signed in February a two-year contract extension with Cadiz that runs through June 2024.