Ex-Colombia star calls for football to stop while search for Luis Diaz's father continues

Former Colombia international Juan Camilo Zuniga has called for a show of solidarity for Luis Diaz by halting football while the search for the Liverpool star's father continues.

Both of Diaz's parents were kidnapped over the weekend, when armed gunmen on motorbikes abducted the pair at a petrol station in their hometown of Barrancas, near the Venezuelan border.

Diaz's mother, Cilenis Marulanda, has since been recovered safely. However, the search for the 26-year-old's father, Luis Manuel Diaz, remains on.

The Colombian special forces have been drafted in to help find Diaz's father, while air and land patrols have been searching the mountainous, forest-covered region between Colombia and Venezuela.

Meanwhile, authorities have are offering a reward of around £40,000 for any information that may help in the search and rescue process.

Diaz was left out of Liverpool's 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday, with manager Jurgen Klopp admitting that preparations for the game had been 'the most difficult I’ve ever had in my life.'

Diogo Jota, who scored the Reds' first of the match, held a 'Diaz 7' shirt aloft in tribute to his teammate, while there has been outpouring of support from the footballing world.

Posting on Instagram, 37-year-old Zuniga, who represented Colombia 71 times between 2005 and 2015, wrote an 'invitation' for footballers to stop playing while Diaz's father remains missing.

“Today it was Luis Díaz's turn. Tomorrow, God forbid, it may touch one of us," he wrote, via El Pais.

"I invite all my colleagues, so that we have more solidarity with Lucho. Players, there is no brain to play with a situation like this. If we have to not play until Lucho's dad shows up, let's do it guys, please."

Another high profile Colombian footballer, James Rodriguez, also offered a show of support to his compatriot on social media.

The former Real Madrid and Everton star wrote: “We ask the captors of Luis Manuel Díaz, father of Luis Díaz, to release him now, without conditions. Football is peace. Lucho we are with you, Colombia is with you.

“There are things much more important than a football match, please, what society are we living in?” We are with you Luchito.”

It has been reported that Diaz will remain in England as the search for his father continues, having been persuaded to do so by his family amid security fears.

Share This Article