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No fine for Podolski after Ballack row

2 April 2009 12:10

BERLIN (AFP) - Striker Lukas Podolski has escaped a German Football Federation (DFB) fine despite his on-field spat with captain Michael Ballack in the 2-0 win over Wales, it was revealed Thursday.

Ballack and Podolski clashed in the second half of the World Cup qualifier at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Wednesday, but despite the Bayern Munich star arguing fiercely with his captain, the DFB will not fine the 23-year-old.

The pair exchanged heated words on the Cardiff pitch and the spat was only ended when Germany defenders Per Mertesacker and Philipp Lahm intervened.

"The DFB find it hard to take disciplinary measures in this situation," said team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

"There will be no fines or special sanctions."

Bierhoff did not reveal the nature of the argument, but said Germany coach Joachim Loew had told the whole squad such an incident should not be repeated and that the issue between Ballack and Podolski had been resolved amicably.

"There was a frank discussion and the matter has been put to bed," added Bierhoff.

This is not the first time Ballack has been involved in a very public confrontation with members of the Germany squad.

Ballack and Bierhoff clashed last June in Vienna immediately after Germany lost the Euro 2008 final to Spain and then last October, Ballack accused Loew of not showing his senior players enough respect or loyalty in an interview.

But just as he did in the 4-0 win over Liechtenstein last Saturday, Ballack under-lined his position as one of Germany's few world-class players with a superb strike against the Welsh which leaves his side four points clear at the top of their qualifying group.

With five wins and a draw from their six games, Germany are on 16 points while Russia are on 12 pts with a game in hand and the group looks set to be decided when the two sides meet in Moscow in October.

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