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Luis Diaz ‘really happy’ after receiving news of his father’s release

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the release of Luis Diaz’s kidnapped father just a couple of hours before their Europa League tie in Toulouse was perfect timing.

Luis Manuel Diaz was taken along with his wife Cilenis Marulanda 12 days ago, although Diaz’s mother was freed swiftly.

After a long wait and days of negotiation with guerilla group the National Liberation Army, Diaz’s father has been released.

“It looks like Lucho (Diaz) is really happy, (giving) thumbs up all the time,” Klopp told TNT Sports.

“It looks very, very good. Timing-wise it couldn’t have been better. If it is now then great.”

The news was confirmed in a statement from the Colombian Football Federation, which said: “The Colombian Football Federation thanks the national government, the military forces and the national police, as well as all the institutions and officials that made the release of Luis Manuel Diaz, father of our player Luis Diaz, possible.

“Football as a sporting discipline symbolises talent, dedication, teamwork and the intrinsic values of human beings.

“In Colombia it must continue to be a benchmark for entertainment, healthy competition, unity and joy.

“Therefore, we insist on the need to maintain this activity, as well as those who are involved in it, in the sporting and administrative part and their families, outside of any scenario other than sports.

Luis Diaz celebrates against Luton
Luis Diaz dedicated his goal against Luton to his father (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“Behind a ball, the dreams and illusions of boys and girls, young people, women, men and adult soccer players, their loved ones and an entire country roll.

“Football is passion in peace. Let no one ever think of attacking that reality again.”

Diaz, who scored the equalising goal at Luton on Sunday in his first appearance since his father was taken, was named in the starting line-up for Liverpool’s Europa League tie in Toulouse just minutes after his dad’s release was made public.

“We are delighted by the news of @LuisFDiaz19’s father’s safe return and we thank all those involved in securing his release,” said a club statement.