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Liverpool release statement after Luis Diaz's parents kidnapped in Colombia by armed men on motorcycles

News outlets in Colombia have reported that on Saturday afternoon (local time), Luis Manuel Diaz and Cilenis Marulanda were stopped by kidnappers when heading towards their home neighbourhood of Los Olivos in the town of Barrancas - where the Liverpool player is from.

Semana reported that armed men riding motorcycles intercepted their vehicle. However, another version of events claimed Diaz's parents were watching a game when kidnappers arrived and took them away.

Colonel Geovanni Cristancho, director of the Gaula branch of the Colombian police that handles kidnap extortion and hostage rescue, was immediately sent to take charge of the situation.

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It was reported that military and police also joined forces and began carrying out coordinated operations in a bid to find the parents. Police checkpoints for identifying those travelling on motorcycles in the area were established.

Due to the pressure from the police and military operations, Diaz's mother was later found and released unharmed. But the Liverpool star's father remains missing. A source told Semana: "We already have the mother, she is in good health, scared, but she is fine. They took the father away on a motorcycle, they took him out of the car and took him along the trails there."

Blu Radio, having managed to secure footage of the moment Cilenis Marulanda was reunited with family members, reported that there had been clashes between the criminals and authorities during the rescue operation. The vehicle she was in is in police custody.

In England, Luis Diaz would have been in line to start for Liverpool in Sunday's Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest. But with his father still in the hands of kidnappers, he was understandably left out of Jurgen Klopp's 20-player matchday squad when the team was confirmed.

The club had released the following statement on Sunday morning ahead of the match: "Liverpool Football Club can confirm it is aware of an ongoing situation involving the family of Luis Diaz in Colombia. It is our fervent hope that the matter is resolved safely and at the earliest possible opportunity. In the meantime, the player’s welfare will continue to be our immediate priority."