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Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn claims the 2006 World Cup hosts cannot excuse their poor performances by citing the absence of inspirational playmaker Michael Ballack.

The Bayern Munich midfielder missed Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Turkey in Istanbul through illness and the manner of the defeat led observers to dismiss Germany as a one-man team.

“It cannot carry on like this,” Kahn said.

“I cannot accept this excuse that Michael Ballack was missing.”

“I tried to coordinate things from the back and did everything in my power,” added Kahn.

However Ballack was conspicuous by his absence in a disappointing display by Germany.

“We cannot hide behind Michael Ballack,” declared Germany assistant coach Joachim Low. “He could be injured during the World Cup.”

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