Luis Diaz issues emotional appeal to father’s kidnappers to free him as Liverpool star says his family are ‘desperate’ with worry
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Luis Diaz issued an emotional appeal for the safe release of his father in Colombia.
The Liverpool winger, who scored a late equaliser at Luton, posted on social media Sunday night, saying: ‘This is not Luis Diaz the player speaking. Today I am the son of Luis Manuel Diaz. My dad hard-working family man.
‘I ask the ELN for the prompt release of my father, and I ask international organisations to work together for his freedom.
‘Every second, every minute, our anguish grows. My mother, my brothers and I are desperate, distressed and without words to describe what we are feeling. This suffering will only end when we have him back home.
‘I beg you to release him immediately, respecting his integrity and ending this painful wait as soon as possible.
Luis Diaz revealed a T-shirt saying ‘freedom for papa’ after scoring in his first game for Liverpool since the kidnappings of his parents
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp embraces Diaz before he came on as a substitute on Sunday
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‘In the name of love and compassion, we ask that you reconsider your actions and allow us to recover him.
‘I thank Colombians and the international community for the support received, thank you for so many demonstrations of affection and solidarity in this difficult time that many families in my country find themselves living.’
Diaz’s father has been held for over a week by a guerrilla group, the national Liberation Army (ELN), in his homeland.
His manager Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to him after he came off the bench to score, revealing a T-shirt saying ‘freedom for papa’, in his first game since the kidnappings of his parents.
In his first appearance since the kidnap of his parents back in his homeland Colombia last weekend Diaz netted in the 95th minute to earn Liverpool a point.
Diaz’s mother Cilenis Marulanda was freed on the same night his parents were snatched off the street though his father Luis Manuel Diaz has yet to be released – the ‘real problem,’ Klopp reminded, that is not yet resolved despite ‘positive, optimistic’ signs.
Diaz revealed a t-shirt bearing the message ‘freedom for papa’ after scoring while he was embraced by Luton captain Tom Lockyer and Klopp at full time.
Diaz’s (left) father Luis Manuel (right) is still to be released by left-wing rebel group ELN – but the head of the guerrilla group is reported to have said they made a ‘mistake’ holding the father
Klopp said: ‘It’s wonderful, its emotional and its fantastic but the real problem is not sorted because of that.
We want to give and he wanted to as well, Lucho the opportunity to be a little bit distracted from things.
‘He cannot do anything. He is waiting all the time, the whole family is waiting all the time. He trained a few times with us and was then in a good mood and it’s good for him.
‘The signs from Colombia are rather positive, optimistic but not the one thing we want to hear didn’t happen yet.
How was he emotionally afterwards? After the game, there was no words necessary. We just gave each other a hug, that’s all. You know how he is. Ok, but desperately waiting for the right news.
‘I understand 100 per cent it’s a nice story. It is super positive and great for him but these things go by.
‘The real information we need is different information. It [scoring] is a really, really positive thing for him but all the other problems stay the same.’
Second-half substitute Diaz headed home a Harvey Elliott cross in time added on on Sunday
The extended family of Luis Diaz emotionally celebrated the Liverpool forward’s equalising goal against Luton on Sunday in the wake of the ongoing manhunt for his father.
A short video showing the home of the player’s grandparents features a crowd of people inside the house celebrating after Diaz rose highest in the box to head Liverpool back on level terms.
Earlier the head of the rebel group that kidnapped the footballer’s parents admitted they had made a ‘mistake’ by not freeing his father, Luis Manuel Diaz.
Uniformed military personnel are now working to have Diaz Snr freed and peace talks with the ELN are continuing.
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