Footballer Luis Díaz reunited with father after kidnapping

Colombian football star Luis Díaz has been reunited with his father Luis Manuel Díaz who was released by rebels after holding him hostage for 12 days.

The Liverpool striker and his father cried as they hugged each other for the first time after the kidnapping ordeal.

Luis Manuel Díaz's abduction by the National Liberation Army (ELN) caused outrage in Colombia and abroad.

The ELN said it had kidnapped the 58-year-old and his wife for ransom.

The group quickly released his wife, Cilenis Marulanda, as police closed in but led the amateur football coach into the nearby mountains at gunpoint.

The ELN leader described the abduction of the popular coach as a "mistake" but has insisted that kidnappings for ransom are not a breach of the ceasefire it signed earlier this year.

The guerrilla group released Luis Manuel Díaz last Thursday to United Nations and Catholic Church officials.

Later that day he was reunited with his wife and other family members, but it was not until now that he was able to embrace his footballer star son.

Luis Díaz has flown to Colombia to train with the national team ahead of its World Cup qualifier against Brazil on Thursday evening in Colombia.

The player missed two of Liverpool's matches while his father was being held by the rebels but came off the bench during the English Premier League game against Luton on 5 November.

After scoring a goal in stoppage time, he pulled up his Liverpool shirt to show a T-shirt underneath bearing the message "freedom for papa".

File photo dated 05-11-2023 of Liverpool's Luis Diaz (centre), who enjoyed an emotional reunion with his parents after flying home to Colombia for the first time since their kidnapping earlier this month. Issue date: Tuesday November 14, 2023.

Luis Díaz lifted his shirt to reveal the message "freedom for papa"

Source: BBC 

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