Luis Diaz returns to Liverpool training

Luis Diaz returns to Liverpool training amid the ongoing situation with his father’s kidnapping… as Jurgen Klopp insists it is up to the Colombian as to whether he makes himself available for Sunday’s trip to Luton

  • Luis Diaz’s parents were kidnapped off the streets in Colombia last Saturday
  • His mother was released later that night, but the search for his father is ongoing
  • Follow Mail Sport’s new Liverpool WhatsApp channel for all the breaking news 

Luis Diaz has resumed full training in recent days amid the ongoing search for his missing father in Colombia, and the Liverpool forward has been told it is his decision whether he wants to be part of the travelling squad to Luton on Sunday.

The Colombian has missed Liverpool’s last two matches after his father Luis Manuel Diaz was kidnapped last Saturday night in Barrancas. It was confirmed yesterday that a guerrilla terror group called ELN was responsible.

But there was renewed hope last night following reports in Colombia that the group holding Diaz’s father had confirmed he would be released in the ‘next few days’. Newspaper El Tiempo also reported that police were confident such a move would be ‘coordinated’.

And Jurgen Klopp confirmed that the player was back in training. Diaz was informed of the horrific events when at the team hotel on Saturday night ahead of their home match with Nottingham Forest on Sunday and spent a few days understandably away from football.

‘He was in training two days ago. Yesterday he had a session and will be part of the team (training),’ said Klopp. ‘We must wait. If he feels right, he will be here and train with us. The session he had with us you can see when he is with the boys he is fine, he is OK.

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Luis Diaz is back training with Liverpool amid the ongoing kidnapping situation with his family

Colombian police have been searching for Diaz’s father who was seized at gunpoint last week

‘But you could see he didn’t sleep a lot. We have to see how he is and we go from there. The news from Colombia gives us a little bit of hope. We are waiting for the really good news but that’s it pretty much.

‘I cannot say what we will do because we just wait where we can pick up the boy from and go from there. But it’s all about him, if he makes himself available or not, and I will not force anything.’

A large manhunt has been ongoing since Saturday and local authorities now blame Colombia’s last remaining rebel group Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), which translates as the National Liberation Army.

Diaz’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was left in a car by kidnappers as police closed in, but the gunmen dragged away his father. Police had voiced concerns that he may have been smuggled over Colombia’s north-eastern border into Venezuela through dense jungle.

A statement on Thursday, signed by the leader of the Colombian government’s Peace Delegation negotiation team Otty Patino, read: ‘Today we have had official knowledge that the kidnapping was perpetrated by a unit belonging to the ELN.

Diaz’s mother (centre) was also kidnapped, before she was released later that on Saturday

Klopp insisted it is up to Diaz as to whether he makes himself available for the trip to Luton

‘To the ELN, we demand the immediate release of Mr Luis Manuel Diaz and we remind them that it is their responsibility to guarantee his life and integrity. We remind the ELN that kidnapping is a criminal practice, in violation of International Humanitarian Law.’

ELN were founded in 1964 by radical Catholics inspired by Cuba’s Communist revolution and has been behind multiple kidnappings in Colombia. It was behind a car bombing at a Bogota police academy in 2019 which killed 21 people and injured another 68.

Peace talks have been going on between the ELN and the Colombian government since March 2020, when the guerrilla group declared a unilateral ceasefire during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Diaz has scored three goals this season in 11 matches for Liverpool. Sources in Colombia suggested he wanted to travel back to his homeland but was talked out of it due to ‘security reasons’.

Source: Read Full Article