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Berliner Boateng set for German backlash

AFP · 22 Jun 2010, 09:34

Published: 22 Jun 2010 09:34 GMT+02:00

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The 23-year-old Portsmouth player is persona non grata back in his home Germany ever since his brutal tackle on Michael Ballack in the FA Cup final ruled the German captain out of the tournament.

Boateng, who is half German, played up to under-21 level for Germany before swearing allegiance to the country of his father. He apologised over the incident but to no avail as far as a distraught and furious Ballack was concerned.

"It was all I could do," said Boateng, who went on to miss a penalty in the final after the incident which saw Chelsea win 1-0. "I was late with the tackle. I apologised twice while he was still receiving treatment on the pitch, this is the third time."

However, despite his apologies there has been little sympathy for him back in Germany and even his half-brother Jerome - here with the German squad but unlikely to feature in the match itself - said he wanted no further contact with his older sibling.

Jerome on Monday called for calmer minds to prevail, though he still has no intention of talking to his half-brother.

"He remains my brother and I wish him the best, but at the moment we have nothing to say to each other, that happens in other families as well," said 21-year-old Jerome, who is set to make his English Premier League debut next season with Manchester City.

Germany's general manager Oliver Bierhoff has also tried to calm tempers ahead of the encounter.

"We mustn't lose our cool," said Bierhoff, who scored in Germany's Euro '96 triumph over the Czech Republic.

"We will not be playing against Kevin-Prince Boateng, but against Ghana. He must be treated with fair-play."

Ghana's impressive Serbian coach Milovan Rejevac has said that his intention was solely to prepare him psychologically for the match.

Story continues below…

To date Boateng has shown little sign of requiring any such help as he has impressed in Ghana's opening two matches - the 1-0 win over Serbia and the 1-1 draw against Australia - and has kept the Inter Milan star Sulley Muntari out of the side, much to the annoyance of the latter.

Rajevac has been delighted with the manner in which Boateng has fitted into the team while Asamoah Gyan, the scorer of both their goals so far, goes further.

"We are happy to have him in the team where he has quickly imposed himself as a key man," said Gyan.

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Your comments about this article

10:26 June 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Maybe if Ballack hadn't bitch-slapped Boateng a few minutes earlier, the tackle wouldn't have occurred. Certainly if the referee had shown Ballack a red card for his egregious and unnecessary bitch-slapping of Boateng, the tackle wouldn't have occurred and Ballack would be on the squad today. There's plenty of blame to go around. I think Germany's just looking for an alibi in case of an early exit.
12:18 June 22, 2010 by auniquecorn
Ballack got exactly what he deserved, Now Germany´s suffering over his ignorance. During this game I´ll be cheering Boateng on.
21:53 June 22, 2010 by moorekwesi
Germans are all over the internet complaining one way or the other.They've been able to create enmity between brothers and i hope they get served for their crass...

When Miro saw red,he said,''football is contact game"...so let contact prevail...and Ballack might as well register with a German club and start slapping them so he can go scot free.
12:52 June 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
After Germany is eliminated tonight it will all be academic and quickly forgotten. Time to get ready for 2014 and find a new trainer.
08:02 June 24, 2010 by proclusian
@DanielF, who wrote above that

>>Ballack is seen as the best player on the german team, and seen as one of only a couple of world class players on the team, along with maybe Lahm. Ballack would be starting every game, and would most likely be the first name of the teamsheet.
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