Chelsea clash with German FA over Ballack availability

Chelsea have clashed with the German FA over the availability of Michael Ballack.

Chelsea have clashed with the German FA over the availability of Michael Ballack.

Skipper Ballack was wanted at a get-together in Stuttgart on Monday, when the players were given fitness checks and filmed for ads to be shown before the World Cup finals.

But Carlo Ancelotti vetoed the 33-year-old midfielder's departure with a crucial Premier League clash with Birmingham at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

Germany coach Joachim Loew said: "This is infuriating for the team sponsors, and I too regret the fact that Michael won't be present.

"We have a fitness test for the World Cup after the filming, and I wanted everybody to take part. The date has already been postponed once, and there was no alternative one.

"But I can understand Chelsea's decision. Playing football takes priority."

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