Soccer legend and former Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita humbly declined the offer to become part of the new Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons political party just minted by the former FARC rebels.
In an open letter published in response to the group, the soccer legend stated that he didn’t feel qualified to accept the FARC invitation as a possible candidate in charge of the popular election.
"I continue to be linked to soccer, which has been the axis and the passion of my existence ... My committed professional practice has been and is exclusively sports," Higuita said in a statement posted on social media. He is currently the goalkeeper coach for the Atletico Nacional in Medellin.
Higuita explained that he did not aspire "to something that requires a special academic training that I don't have."
"Politically, it is my desire that the various partisan groups mobilize with enthusiasm, respect, decorum, honor, tolerance, and authenticity in the purpose of serving our country," he said.
The FARC described its admiration for Higuita, a known supporter of the FARC group, during a press conference.
FARC leader Rodrigo Granda stated, “Rene, wherever you are, I am sending you a tremendous hug from this FARC congress that is going to become a political party. We hope that you will help us and hopefully you can join our list of Senate candidates or maybe even as President.”
Granda later tweet, “We send you a big hug, @higuitarene, thank you for the work you have done for peace in Colombia. Let’s go @FCFSeleccion!"
His announcements were supported by FARC leader Rodrigo Londono, also known as Timochenko, who tweeted that everyone can contribute to building peace!
Higuita has attended a number of FARC conferences, including the 10th National Guerrilla Conference held in September 2016, which was in support of the rebel group’s move toward civilian life.