Spanish defender,Rafael ‘Fali’ Jiménez Jarque refused to undergo COVID-19 testing and promised to not receive a salary while he boycotts training and matches.
The 26-year-old, who has made 23 league appearances for Cadiz FC 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.
“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 a little money saved, if I need to find another job I will do so – but I do not want to expose myself or my family.
‘Footballers look like superheroes but we are just people and right now I am going to wait. Maybe in 10 or 15 days, I will return to training.’
‘I want LaLiga and health authorities to at least sign a contract with the players giving us 100 percent assurances that it (playing and training) is safe.’
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.
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 understood his opposition but said he would try to convince Fali to play.