The father of Liverpool star Luis Diaz was finally freed from his kidnappers on Thursday, almost two weeks after he was captured by Colombian guerrillas. Manager Jurgen Klopp said the player was very happy.
Dias started Liverpool’s defeat against Toulouse on Thursday night, just hours after his father was handed into the hands of a “humanitarian commission” made up of the Catholic Church and the United Nations.
The plan was to take Diaz Sr. to a nearby town for a medical examination.
The first images shown on Colombian television showed him wearing his hat, holding a drink and waving his arms in the air.
Liverpool said they were ‘delighted by the news’ and thanked ‘all those involved in securing his release’.
Diaz was taken by the left-wing terror group on October 28 in an armed attack and a huge search was launched to locate and release him.
He was seized at gunpoint along with his wife and the government soon blamed Colombia’s last remaining rebel group, the National Liberation Army.
Diaz’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was left behind in a car.
Officials said they could not rule out the possibility that he had been smuggled over the border to Venezuela through a dense jungle, meaning he would have been out of reach of Colombian police.
A reward of around £40,000 is being offered for vital information.
Liverpool manager Klopp spoke movingly of the club’s support for players who have been told not to return home for safety reasons.
The entire team visited Diaz’s home to offer their support, and it is believed that the Latin American players took the initiative.