Luis Diaz’s father ‘could be in Venezuela’ after kidnapping of Liverpool stars’ parents

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Liverpool forward Luis Diaz was left out of the squad for Sunday’s Premier League home game against Nottingham Forest after his parents were kidnapped in Colombia, with manager Jurgen Klopp saying everyone at the club was worried.

Colombia President Gustavo Petro said late on Saturday that Diaz’s mother had been rescued after they were kidnapped in northern Colombia, but officials were still searching for his missing father, who may have been taken to Venezuela.

“The game preparation was the most difficult I’ve ever had in my life. I didn’t expect that, I wasn’t prepared for it,” Klopp said after the 3-0 victory. “I don’t want to make the game bigger than it was, but definitely, we tried to help Luis with the fight we put in because obviously we want to help and we cannot really help.

“So the only thing we can do is fight for him and that’s what the boys did.”

Liverpool secured their fifth straight home Premier League win to move three points behind leaders Tottenham. But Klopp said: “How can you make a football game really important on a day like this? It’s really difficult. I’ve never struggled with that in my life.

“We heard late last night about it. We spoke to Luis, he wanted to go home…Then we got the news with his mum, which is fantastic, and since then nothing really. We are obviously the first people to get involved and we try to have knowledge of everything as much as we can, but we don’t want to disturb in any way the important people there, we just want to support, that’s it.”

Earlier, Liverpool issued a statement saying they were aware of the situation involving Diaz’s family and were focusing on the player’s welfare.

Diaz, who has played 43 times for Colombia, was signed by Liverpool in January last year in a deal reported to be worth 45 million euros ($47.5 million). He has scored three times for Liverpool in all competitions this season.

Colombia’s Attorney General Francisco Barbosa on Sunday said it was possible that Diaz’s father was being taken to Venezuela, and ordered an investigation to look into the motives of the kidnapping and find those responsible.

“We have information that he could, at some point, be in Venezuela. If he ends up crossing the border and he’s in Venezuela, we have to ask [Colombia] President Gustavo Petro … to help us with freeing Luis Diaz’s father,” Barbosa told reporters.

Colombia’s national police also announced payment of $48,500 (£40,000) for any information leading to his rescue.

Reuters, further quotes from PA

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