Prague, Czech Republic – 28-year-old Czech international football player Josef Šural was killed after a minibus carrying several players from Turkish club Aytemiz Alanyaspor crashed while returning from an away match on Sunday. Šural died at the hospital where he and six of his teammates, including Steven Caulker and Papiss Cissé, were taken after the crash, the club said on Twitter.
The seven Alanyaspor players had rented a VIP minibus to return from the club’s 1-1 draw against Kayserispor while the rest of the club’s players and staff had returned with the team bus or on their own.
Club chairman Hasan Cavusoglu claimed the driver of the mini bus had fallen asleep at the wheel. A second on-board driver was also reportedly asleep when the accident happened around three miles from the club’s home city of Alanya, on the Mediterranean coast. The six other players on board are reportedly not in a critical condition.
A former Slovan Liberec and Sparta Prague striker, Šural had recently signed for the Turkish side for whom he played only nine games and scored one goal. With Slovan Liberec, he won the Czech First League in 2012 and the Czech Cup in 2015.
Born in the Moravian town of Hustopeče, he also played 20 games for the Czech national team, scoring his first and only international goal against the Netherlands in a Euro 2016 qualifier in 2015. He last appeared in the Czech colours in their Nations League defeat by Ukraine in October.
The Football Association of the Czech Republic said news of Šural’s death brought “great sorrow”, reports the BBC. Former teammate Petr Čech paid tribute to the Czech forward on twitter.