Federation says Loew to decide in Ballack case

Germany’s top football official says coach Joachim Loew is free to decide whether former captain Michael Ballack returns to the national team.

Ballack has not played for Germany for more than a year, ever since an ankle injury forced him to miss the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Germany’s young team finished third.

Federation president Theo Zwanziger says he would like to see Ballack captain Germany at least one more time, but says the decision was Loew’s.

Ballack has not been selected for Germany’s next three games.