(AFP) – Oct 22, 2008
BERLIN (AFP) — German Football Federation (DFB) president Theo Zwanziger hit back on Wednesday following national team captain Michael Ballack's criticism of die Mannschaft coach Joachim Loew.
Germany coach Loew and team manager Oliver Bierhoff discussed the matter on Wednesday morning in an emergency phone conference call with Zwanziger, who is in Zurich at a FIFA conference.
The DFB bosses are angry after Ballack criticised Loew in a interview with newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Tuesday in which he said the national coach should show his senior players more respect and loyalty.
"I am disappointed with Michael Ballack over his style," said Zwanziger.
"His comments have led to a complicated and difficult situation developing.
"The team has developed in a very positive way in the last few years and therefore I don't understand the fact there has been criticism from the team aimed at Joachim Loew in the media.
"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."
A further statement from the DFB is expected on Wednesday afternoon.
In Tuesday's FAZ interview, Ballack criticised Loew for dropping veteran midfielder Torsten Frings for this month's World Cup qualifiers.
"Maybe he is not in top form right now, but he is still playing at very high level," Ballack said of Frings.
"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."
And the Chelsea star said he had sympathy for Kevin Kuranyi who walked out on the team during their 2-1 win over Russia on October 11, after not being selected for the game, while Loew has said he will never select Kuranyi again.
Having captained Germany to World Cup qualifiers over Russia and Wales earlier this month, Ballack had an operation to remove thickened nerves from both feet.
Loew never called him after the operation, Ballack said.
"I am surprised, because in the past it was always different," Ballack said.
But former Germany captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer said he is troubled by the noises coming from die Mannschaft and players' egos are getting the better of them.
"For me there is too much talk coming from the national team," said Beckenbauer.
"Everyone is announcing themselves whether it is Kuranyi, who suddenly disappears, or Frings, who talks about retiring.
"And now we have Ballack, the captain, coming out and saying this.
"These sort of things should be dealt with internally.
"Some people should hold their tongue and play football, or at least have the conversation with the coach, not with a journalist."
Ballack is already testing Loew's patience having had an on-field row with Bierhoff after the Euro 2008 final last June in Vienna which erupted again in September with a war of words between the manager and captain in the media here.
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