Luis Diaz lifts a shirt revealing a message saying "Freedom for Papa"

Luis Diaz: Liverpool players rally around forward after father’s kidnapping

Luis Diaz lifted his shirt after equalising to reveal a message saying “Freedom for Papa”

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson said Luis Diaz’s late equaliser against Luton showed how football is capable of bringing joy in dark moments.

Despite waiting for news on his father, who has been kidnapped in Colombia, Diaz expressed a desire to be involved with the Reds for Sunday’s Premier League game.

After Tahith Chong finished off a fine counter-attack to put Luton ahead, Diaz was sent on with seven minutes to go and headed an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

A short time later, Diaz released an emotional statement, pleading with his father’s kidnappers to release him immediately.

  • Diaz pleads for father’s release

“I think not many people can imagine what he has going on now – even us,” Alisson told Sky Sports after the 1-1 draw.

“We are close to him of course, we are supporting him, we feel his pain, but for him it is a different level.

“Football sometimes in dark moments can bring joy to people, can bring joy to somebody who is struggling, and I think football is bringing a slice of joy to him at this time.”

Luis Diaz scores a late equaliser for LiverpoolLuis Diaz came on in the 83rd minute and scored the equaliser in stoppage time

Both of Diaz’s parents were seized at gunpoint on 28 October and while Diaz’s mother was found in Barrancas, his father remains missing.

After his late equaliser at Kenilworth Road, Diaz lifted his shirt to show a message of “Freedom for Papa”.

In his statement released after the game, Diaz said: “I beg that they free him immediately, respecting his integrity and ending this painful wait. In the name of love and compassion we ask they reconsider their actions and allow us to have him back.

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“I want to thank the Colombians and the international community for the support that’s been received, say thanks for the many demonstrations of care and solidarity in this difficult moment which many families find themselves living in, in my country.

“Every second, every minute, our anxiety grows. My mother, my brothers and I are desperate, anxious and have no words to describe what we are feeling. This suffering will only end when we have him home with us.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp added on BBC Radio 5 Live: “The right person in the stadium scored the equaliser and that was wonderful.

“We wait desperately for news from Colombia. The information he gets are rather positive but it is not done – the one information we didn’t get yet.

“He decided he wants to be around us again because he needs that distraction because he can’t do anything. The only lift you can get in this moment is the real news.”

Sunday’s game was the first time Diaz had been involved in a Liverpool matchday squad since their Europa League win over Toulouse on 26 October.

The Reds travel to the French side for the return fixture this coming Thursday, and Alisson says he and his team-mates will continue to support Diaz as best they can.

“We are together with him, for whatever he needs,” Alisson added.

“He came, trained, came to the game, scored a fantastic goal for us that was really important and we are with him 100%.”

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