Colombian rebel group Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN) is expected to free the father of Liverpool winger Luis Diaz soon.
Diaz made his comeback in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Luton Town after missing Liverpool’s previous victories over Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth due to extreme distress over the situation. When the 26-year-old equalised in the 95th minute, he celebrated by showing a t-shirt he was wearing under his jersey that said “Freedom for Dad” in Spanish.
The presence of government security personnel raised concerns about Diaz’s father’s release, and the ELN issued a warning shortly after this match. Colombian news source Carocol, however, reports that the ELN has decided to release him shortly and would give him to UN representatives “in accordance with last-minute protocols obtained with the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.”
When Diaz scored his goal at Luton, he pleaded with ELN to free his father, saying: “This is not the player’s voice. The Lucho Diaz of today is the son of Luis Manuel Diaz. My father, Mane, is a cornerstone of the family, a dedicated worker, and he was abducted. My father needs to be released from ELN as soon as possible. To ensure his freedom, I also request that the international associations take it up.”
“Our level of worry increases minute by minute. Our family is filled with emotions that are beyond words, and they will continue to be so for as long as he is not returning home. I beg you to keep my father’s innocence by releasing him immediately. I would want to express my gratitude to the world and all Colombians for their support.”
Alisson, Diaz’s teammate at Liverpool, complimented him on how he handled the matter, speaking to Sky Sports: “Not many people [can] imagine what he is going [through], even as we are close to him, of course, we are supporting him. We feel his pain but for him, it’s a different level. Football sometimes in dark moments can bring joy to people, and can bring joy to somebody who is struggling. And I think football is bringing a slice of joy to Lucho at this time.”
“We are tog