Ballack embroiled in row

23 October 2008 07:19
Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack is at the centre of a row with the German Football Federaton (DFB) following his recent criticism of coach Joachim Low. Skipper Ballack accused Low of lacking respect following his decision to omit fellow midfielder Torsten Frings from his starting line-up for the last two World Cup qualifiers. The former Bayern Munich star also expressed empathy for Schalke striker Kevin Kuranyi following his own decision to walk out on the national side earlier in the month. Speaking about Frings, Ballack claimed: "If he is no longer wanted he should be told so honestly. Respect and loyalty is the least you can expect as a deserving national team player." But DFB president Theo Zwanziger has hit back at Ballack after criticising the national captain for going public with his grievances. "I am disappointed with Michael Ballack over his style. His comments have led to a complicated and difficult situation developing," he is quoted as saying. "Such comments are absolutely inappropriate. In the interest of the success of the team, the authority of the national team coach must have the highest priority." Meanwhile, Low is planning to seek clarification from Ballack following his outspoken comments. "I will telephone Michael Ballack and summon him for a talk in Germany," said Low on Wednesday. "I will tell him that I am hugely disappointed with the route he has chosen and that the remarks he has made are unacceptable."

Source: ESA