Czech international Josef Sural has died of injuries sustained in a minibus crash while returning with teammates from an away match in central Turkey, his club Alanyaspor said on Monday, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
The club’s chairman said the driver of the minibus had fallen asleep at the wheel.
“Czech player Josef Sural, who was seriously injured in an accident involving a private minibus carrying seven of our footballers after an away game at Kayseri, could not be saved despite the hospital’s best efforts,” the club said on Twitter.
Seven Alanyaspor players had rented a VIP minibus to return from the club’s 1-1 draw against Kayserispor on Sunday, and the bus crashed some five kilometers from the southern coastal town of Alanya, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
The rest of the club’s players and staff had returned with the team bus or on their own, Anadolu said, adding that the drivers of the VIP bus had been detained following the accident and that an investigation had been launched.
Among the players injured were Stephen Caulker, a former Tottenham Hotspur defender who was capped for England in 2012, and Senegal international and former Newcastle United player Papisse Cisse.
“Unfortunately, despite having two drivers, they fell asleep and the crash happened,” Alanyaspor Chairman Hasan Çavuşoğlu said.
Çavuşoğlu later told CNN Türk that the injured players had “small fractures and cuts.”
He said Sural’s wife rushed to the hospital where he informed her of the player’s death. Sural had two young daughters, he said.
Sural, an attacking midfielder who was 28, had also played for Czech sides FC Brno, Slovan Liberec and Sparta Prague. He was capped 20 times for his country and was a key player in its Euro 2016 campaign.
Alanyaspor, currently fifth in the Spor Toto Super League, drew 1-1 with Kayserispor on Sunday.