The world woke up to extremely sad news after Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido was kidnapped in his home state of Tamaulipas. Authorities in the north-eastern state confirmed Pulido was taken by armed men after attending a party with his girlfriend in his hometown Ciudad Victoria on Saturday night.

The athlete reportedly drove off around 11.30 p.m. and was intercepted by a number of vans carrying armed men and took him.

After Alan Pulido’s brother, Armando Pulido and Tamaulipas state prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla confirmed the tragic news, celebrities, fans and fellow soccer players reacted on social media, inviting everyone to pray, the Mexican government to act, and all those involved to remain hopeful.

The hashtag #FuerzaPulido (“strength Pulido”) is flooding Twitter in an effort to show support to the player’s loved ones.

"Such a shame @puliidooo a reflection of the Mexico we live in."

“All my thoughts and prayers are with you, my brother @puliidooo and with all your family and loved ones. Devastating news #FuerzaPulido”

“My prayers are with you @puliidoo”

“The Mexican soccer final game shadowed by Alan Pulido’s disappearance. Terrible and shocking scene.”

“The kidnapping of Alan Pulido is such sad news. My prayers are with him so he returns to his family soon. Sending a solidarity hug to his family.”

 

“My prayers are with you @puliidoo”

The U.S. bordering state of Tamaulipas has been plagued with organized crime for over five years now, due to an ongoing dispute between the Gulf Cartel and its former armed wing Los Zetas who have been fighting over the state since 2010. However, territories have been vaguely assigned as pertaining to each group, and authorities have indicated that the road Pulido was taken from is within in an area that “belongs” to Los Zetas.

Authorities have asked the media for their discretion so that nothing intercepts the ongoing investigation, as Mexican Federal and state forces have mounted a big manhunt to find Pulido.