(Reuters) - Cadiz central defender Rafael Gimenez, known as Fali, failed to turn up to be tested for COVID-19 at the Spanish second division club’s training ground on Wednesday, El Pais newspaper reported.
All clubs in Spain’s top two divisions are testing players ahead of a return to training in preparation for a possible restart in June.
Fali is the first player in Spain not to return to work since the country’s soccer authorities announced this week that clubs would begin training again for the first time since activity was halted due to the outbreak.
Fali, who is aged 26, told COPE radio station last month he was unwilling to risk his health to play football.
“I will not play again if there is a minimum risk and if I have to leave football, I will,” he said.
El Pais reported that Cadiz, who are currently top of the second division standings, planned to speak to Fali with a view to getting him to agree to undergo testing so he could resume training with the rest of the team.
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Angus MacSwan