HomeSportsLiverpool star Luis Diaz’s dad set to be freed after kidnapping
Liverpool star Luis Diaz’s dad set to be freed after kidnapping
November 3, 2023
Colombian rebels said they would release the father of a Liverpool star who was kidnapped over the weekend in a small town near the border with Venezuela, according to multiple reports.
A representative for the National Liberation Army, also known as the ELN, said the group would release the father of Colombian soccer player Luis Diaz “as soon as possible,” according to both Reuters and Sky News.
Diaz’s father, Luis Manuel Diaz, has been held since Saturday when he and his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, were kidnapped by armed men on motorcycles at a gas station in Barrancas.
Diaz’s mother was rescued by police hours later after roadblocks were set up.
The Colombian government announced earlier Thursday that the ELN was responsible for the brazen abduction and released a statement calling for his release.
“We demand that the ELN releases immediately Mr. Luis Manuel Díaz and we say as of now that they are entirely responsible to secure his life and integrity,” said Otty Patiño, a government official leading peace talks with the ELN.
Diaz’s father has been missing since his kidnapping in the northern Colombian town of 40,000 people, and because of the proximity to the Venezuelan border, Colombian special forces were called in to search the mountain range that sits between the two South American countries.
The younger Diaz, 26, is considered one of the best players on Colombia’s national team while also playing in the English Premier League for Liverpool.
He did not participate in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
He has appeared in 11 matches this season and has scored three goals.
Both FIFA and the Colombian Football Federation have expressed their support for Diaz during this crisis, and his teammates in Liverpool held up his jersey on Sunday after scoring the game’s first goal.
On Tuesday, Diaz’s family held a vigil for the release of the elder Diaz, and the footballer pleaded for the release of his father in an Instagram story
“Bring your candle to light the light of hope — free him now!” he wrote in one post, according to Sky News.