Ballack orders Low to contact Chelsea

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The Independent Football

Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has told Germany coach Joachim Low he will have to consult with his club before they can meet for showdown talks.

Low yesterday summoned Ballack for one-to-one talks after being "disappointed" at comments the Germany captain had made in a newspaper interview.

Ballack had suggested Low had been disrespectful in his recent treatment of Torsten Frings and Kevin Kuranyi.

Frings was left of the team for the World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Wales, while Kuranyi walked out at half-time in the Russia game after being left out of the matchday squad.

Low was incensed his skipper had used the media to criticise him and threatened to strip him of the national team captaincy.

The former Bayern Munich man's international career of now hangs in the balance and will be determined "by how the conversation goes" when the pair meet, according to the Germany coach.

But Ballack has told Low he can only fly to Germany if Chelsea allow him to do so and has told the Germany chief to get in touch with them first.

"The German Football Association will have to arrange it with my employers Chelsea," he told the Bild newspaper.

"I am open to this one-to-one discussion at any time. I am glad that the coach wants to talk to me and am looking forward to this discussion."

Meanwhile, Frings has backed Ballack for speaking out in his defence.

Speaking after Werder Bremen's 2-2 draw with Panathinaikos in the Champions League on Wednesday, the 31-year-old said: "Michael has been around long enough to notice when something is not right.

"When he feels that something is not going right, then it is his right to speak up.

"Players who have already proven themselves do not get worked up over nothing.

"Ballack has every right to speak out as the captain - he only wants what is best for the team."