Ballack apologises but case not closed for Loew
Germany captain Michael Ballack has apologised for a recent critical statement on coach Joachim Loew but Loew said on Sunday that the case was not yet closed, dpa reported.
"I have taken notice of Michael Ballack's statement. But a personal meeting is more important. I will make my final assessment after that," Loew said on the website of the German football federation DFB.
Loew said he talked with Ballack on the phone Saturday and said the face-to-face meeting will take place in Germany in the near future.
DFB president Theo Zwanziger said that Loew alone would decide how to end the issue. There is speculation that Loew could axe Ballack as captain.
Ballack said on Saturday that his recent remarks, in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung paper, were "a mistake." The Chelsea midfielder had criticised Loew for not fielding Torsten Frings in two recent World Cup qualifiers.
Werder Bremen's Frings also attacked Loew over the issue but Loew insisted that other players needed to be fielded as well to have a strong team for the 2010 World Cup. Loew also said that no one was guaranteed a place in the starting 11.
Ballack, who is currently sidelined with a foot injury, said he wanted to support his long-time midfield partner Frings and to speak about issues "which are important for me as captain." He said he had not intended to criticise Loew's leadership.