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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Ballack sorry for Sissoko stamp
Michael Ballack
Ballack was sent off for his challenge on Sissoko
Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has said sorry for the stamp on Liverpool's Mohamed Sissoko which earned the German skipper a red card on Sunday.

Ballack, 29, was sent off for the first time in his career after the incident in Sunday's 1-0 win over the Reds.

"It was a bad situation for me. I went in late for the ball but there was no way I tried to hurt him," he said.

"It is is the first red card of my career and when I saw the incident on television I knew I had to say sorry."

Ballack said he apologised in person after the match to the Liverpool player, who was able to continue playing after the incident.

"I have no problem with Sissoko, I like him," Ballack added.

"In fact when he had been booked earlier in the match and then tripped up Frank Lampard I told him to take it easy and calm down.

"In the circumstances all I can do is offer my hand and my apologies to him."

Chelsea have not appealed and Ballack will now miss the Premeirship games against Fulham, Aston Villa and Reading, although he can play in the Champions League game against Levski Sofia.

He will return to Premiership action against Portsmouth on 21 October.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had no complaints over Michael Ballack's red card during the 1-0 win over Liverpool.

But the Blues boss also said Sissoko should have been sent off for two bookable offences before the incident.

"It is a red card but I would like to say it is the first red card of Michael Ballack's career," said Mourinho.

"The other thing is that he gets a red card for a foul on a player who should not have been on the pitch."

Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
17 Sep 06 |  Premiership
Sunday football photos
17 Sep 06 |  Football


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