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Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 12:39 UK

Kevin Prince Boateng sorry for Michael Ballack tackle

Ballack was injured in the 35th minute of the FA Cup final
Ballack was injured in the 35th minute of the FA Cup final

Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has apologised for the tackle that has ruled Germany captain Michael Ballack out of next month's World Cup finals.

Chelsea midfielder Ballack injured his right ankle in the challenge by the Portsmouth player in the FA Cup final.

Boateng, who could be in the Ghana side to face Germany in Group D in South Africa, has insisted it was unintended.

"I am sorry. It was not intentional. I just came in too late and made full contact," he told Sport Bild online.

"It looks pretty stupid," Boateng added.

The apology, coming three days after the foul at Wembley on Saturday, has done little to dampen German anger directed at Boateng for depriving them of their captain for this summer's finals.

Ballack is not expected to be able to train for eight weeks after limping out of the FA Cup final after 35 minutes - Chelsea went on to beat Pompey 1-0.

606: DEBATE
Mad_for_Chelsea

Fans on Tuesday vented their anger on dozens of websites, calling him 'public enemy number one' and setting up chat rooms called '82 million against Boateng' or 'Anti-Boateng Group'.

Boateng, born in Berlin to a Ghanaian father and a German mother, has had an uneasy relationship with German fans ever since he played for Hertha Berlin.

He is also a distant relative to German soccer hero, Helmut Rahn, who scored West Germany's winning goal in the 1954 World Cup final against Hungary.

The irony is that the 23-year-old Berlin-born midfielder, who has also played for Tottenham Hotspur, will take part in the World Cup playing for Ghana while his half-brother Jerome is in the preliminary Germany squad for the tournament which takes places between 11 June and 11 July.

To make matter worse, Ghana are in Germany's group with the two nations clashing in Johannesburg on 23 June.

Ballack, who will miss out on what would have been his third World Cup, flew to Sicily on Monday after a scan revealed a tear of one ankle ligament and a partial tear on another that will leave him out of action for eight weeks.

On Tuesday he said there was no need for bad blood, telling reporters: "Of course, I am very angry and disappointed but in football one should let it go," he said.

Injured German Captain Michael Ballack

Archive - Ballack the hero for Germany in 2002

The 33-year-old Chelsea midfielder has made 98 appearances for his country and played in the last two World Cups.

A scan showed damage to two ligaments but it is expected to be eight weeks before he can resume training and Germany's first match is on 13 June.

Ballack was in impressive form during the 2008 European Championships, when the Germans were eventually beaten 1-0 in the final by Spain, and was considered a key figure for them again this summer.

Germany kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia on 13 June before matches against Serbia on 18 June and Ghana on 23 June.



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see also
Injured Ballack out of World Cup
17 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Beck dropped from Germany squad
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth
15 May 10 |  FA Cup
Terry criticises FA over Wembley
15 May 10 |  FA Cup
FA Cup final as it happened
15 May 10 |  Football
FA Cup final photos
15 May 10 |  Football


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