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Germany captain Ballack injured, out for World Cup

Germany captain Michael Ballack will miss the World Cup because of torn ligaments in his right ankle, a serious blow to the three-time champions less than a month before the tournament.

The 33-year-old Chelsea midfielder was hurt during a foul by Kevin-Prince Boateng during his club’s 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Portsmouth on Saturday.

“I am sorry. there was no intent. I was too late and hit him with full force,” Boateng said.

Ballack’s ankle is in a cast, and the German soccer federation said Ballack won’t be able to train for at least eight weeks. A full recovery is expected.

“It’s football and you have to live with it. … I am angry, clearly,” Ballack told German television.

The injury probably robs Ballack, Germany’s three-time player of the year, of his final chance to win the World Cup after reaching the 2002 final and the 2006 semifinals. Ballack has made 98 appearances for Germany and scored 42 goals.

“We are shocked, no question about it, and we are all very, very sad,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. “He is a very important player for us, a world class player who played a very important role in decisive games for us.”

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United States defender Oguchi Onyewu has extended his contract with AC Milan for another season at no extra cost to the team. Onyewu missed all but one match last season with a knee injury. … FIFA asked its ethics committee to investigate claims by former English Football Association chairman David Triesman that Spain is trying to bribe referees at the World Cup. Triesman quit Sunday after being secretly recorded by a tabloid newspaper suggesting Russia was going to help Spain bribe referees at the World Cup in return for gaining its rival’s support in the race to host the 2018 or 2022 tournament. … Top MLS prospect Zachary Herold of Toronto FC has ended his career at 17 because of a heart condition. … The Russian federation hired Dick Advocaat as coach of the national team. … Bill Clinton will serve as the honorary chairman of the United States’ bid to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. … Carlsberg, the Danish brewer that is the uniform sponsor for England’s Liverpool, may be unable to provide beer to fans in its home country at next month’s World Cup because of a strike by 1,100 local workers. … Iraqi security forces have detained an al-Qaida militant suspected of planning an attack targeting the World Cup in South Africa next month. … Manchester United agreed on a sponsorship accord with Vina Concha y Toro SA, making Chile’s largest winery the latest company to become an official partner of the 18-time English champion. … Bursaspor won the Turkish Super League, ending more than 20 years of Istanbul dominance of the country’s top division.

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