Colombians, including stars from Arsenal and Brighton, have demanded the country’s upcoming clash against Brazil is suspended unless Luis Diaz’s father is released.
Liverpool winger Diaz has missed the Reds’ last two games after his parents were kidnapped in Colombia.
Both of his parents were kidnapped by four armed men in his homeland on October 28, with ELN, the National Liberation Army of Colombia, now confirmed as the group responsible for the abduction.
His mother, Cilenis Marulanda, has since been released, but the whereabouts of his father, Luis Manuel, remain unknown.
Colombians are now demanding that the national team’s crunch upcoming World Cup qualifier against Brazil is postponed unless the captors follow their reported plan to free Diaz’s father.
Colombia’s Ambassador to the UK Roy Barreras has since issued a public show of support to cancel the November 17 match.
Barreras gathered together nearly 100 compatriots including Brighton’s women star Jorelyn Carabali and Arsenal’s U-20 goalkeeper Alexei Rojas to throw their weight behind the campaign.
In a rallying cry from London, the Colombians all shouted ‘Liberen Luis ya’ – Spanish for ‘Free Luis Now’ in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter.
He said: “From London we demand the ELN release of Lucho Diaz’s father before November 17 and if they don’t demand Colombia doesn’t play the qualifier match against Brazil until he is freed.
“We have bought together soccer players, coaches and foundations dedicated to football as an instrument of peace to demand the release of Luis Diaz.”
The calls for an international suspension closely mirror the stance adopted by Brazil icon Romario back in 1994.
The Barcelona legend famously threatened to boycott the Seleção in a press conference ahead of that year’s World Cup when kidnappers snatched his dad.
Romario appealed for help from the Brazilian public and his father was released within 48 hours before Brazil later went on to win the tournament in the United States.
Diaz meanwhile is back in training after his week from hell but Jurgen Klopp has confirmed it is up to the player if he wants to be available for Liverpool’s clash at Luton on Sunday.
“If he feels right, he will be will us,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “You can see he didn’t sleep a lot. The news from Colombia gives us a little bit of hope.
“I cannot say what we will do. It’s up to him, if he makes himself available or not.”