Ballack to apologise to Germany coach Löw

October 26, 2008

BERLIN, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Germany captain Michael Ballack plans to apologise to coach Joachim Löw in person in a move that should help to cool their public row.

"I will sit down with Joachim Löw, as soon as my injury permits, and apologise for my behaviour to him," Ballack was quoted as saying in a statement released by the German Football Association (DFB) on Sunday.

Ballack's position as captain came under threat when Löw reacted furiously to a newspaper interview in which the Chelsea midfielder suggested senior players were not being treated with enough respect.

Plans for a meeting between the two men were scuppered on Friday when Chelsea said he could not travel because of his foot injury but the DFB said on Sunday that Ballack had telephoned Löw again on Saturday evening.

"I told Jogi Löw that it was never my intention to criticise the work he is doing as national team coach," Ballack was quoted as saying. "I just wanted to show support for my fellow players.

"I admire Jogi Löw as a player and a professional very much."

Löw told the DFB he would wait for the meeting to take place before making any comment.

"I've noted Ballack's explanation but much more important is our private discussion," Leow said.

The row over the treatment of senior players exploded after Löw left Kevin Kuranyi and Torsten Frings out of the starting line-up for Germany's World Cup qualifier against Russia this month.

Kuranyi walked out on the team while the match was still going on, bringing his international career to an end, while Frings, after being left out of the starters for the next match as well, said he would consider his future.