Luis Diaz’s father released after being held as hostage for 12 days
Luis Diaz’s mother was released hours after getting kidnapped
Almost two weeks after his kidnapping, the father of Liverpool striker Luis Diaz has finally been released by his captors.
On Thursday afternoon, Luis Manuel Diaz was handed over to a “Humanitarian Commission” comprised of representatives from the UN and the Catholic Church.
According to the local media, family members are already en route to see Diaz Sr. The current plan is to transport him to another nearby town for medical examinations.
The initial footage that was shown on Colombian television saw Diaz Senior waving his arm while sporting a cap and a drink.
On October 28, when stopping at a petrol station for watermelon plants, Diaz’s mother and father, who is 58 years old, were picked up.
‘The Colombian Football Federation thanks the National Government, the Military Forces and the National Police, as well as all the institutions and officials that made the release of Luís Manuel Díaz, father of our player Luís Díaz, possible,’ a statement from the Colombia FA read.
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‘Football as a sporting discipline symbolizes talent, dedication, teamwork and the intrinsic values of human beings. In Colombia it must continue to be a benchmark for entertainment, healthy competition, unity and joy.
‘Therefore, we insist on the need to maintain this activity, as well as those who are involved in it, in the sporting and administrative part and their families, outside of any scenario other than sports.’
‘Behind a ball, the dreams and illusions of boys and girls, young people, women, men and adult soccer players, their loved ones and an entire country roll.
‘Football is passion in peace. Let no one ever think of attacking that reality again!’
It was later determined that the left-wing guerrilla organisation National Liberation Army (ELN), which opposed the government in Colombia, was to blame.
Diaz, who makes his Europa League debut tonight against Toulouse, witnessed his mother being freed many hours after she was taken hostage, but his father was still absent and causing him great distress.