Depor's Aouate shocked by punch from teammate

January 12, 2008

MADRID, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Israel's Dudu Aouate has said he is shocked by the punch from fellow Deportivo Coruna goalkeeper Gustavo Munua after training on Friday, that left him needing stitches around his left eye.

'It's painful on a personal level because it is the first time something like this has happened to me,' Aouate was quoted as saying in sports daily Marca on Saturday.

'It was a surprise. After training I showered and went to get dressed. Munua came in and said 'who are you looking at?' I received a punch in the eye and it started to bleed heavily. All the team were there and were shocked.

'It wasn't a fight. He's hit me without any explanation. I am surprised a team mate can do something like this.'

The incident came a day after Aouate said it was unfair that he had been dropped as first-choice keeper.

The 30-year-old has been Depor's number one since he arrived from Racing Santander in 2006 but was dropped to the bench after the 2-1 league defeat at home to Osasuna at the beginning of December, to be replaced by 29-year-old Uruguayan reserve Munua.

'I have never complained about or spoken badly of a colleague. I spoke about my ability and the team's predicament. They asked me about Munua and I didn't say anything,' Aouate added.

The club said in a statement that both keepers would be left out of the squad to visit Villarreal in the Primera Liga on Sunday, and that there would be a meeting with them next week.

Spanish media said Munua had been unavailable for comment.

Depor are second from bottom in the league, two points from safety.