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Czech international Josef Sural killed in minibus crash traveling with teammates in Turkey

Czech international Josef Sural killed in minibus crash traveling with teammates in Turkey
Czech international footballer Josef Sural has died aged 28 after a minibus carrying him and fellow players from Turkish club Aytemiz Alanyaspor crashed while returning from an away game on Sunday.

Sural was one of seven Alanyaspor players traveling on the private bus they had rented after the team’s Turkish Super Lig game against Kayserispor.

The vehicle veered off the road and crashed around 3 miles (5km) from the town of Alanya, according to reports.

Sural was rushed to hospital but later died of his injuries.

The six other players on board - which included former English Premier League players Steven Caulker and Papiss Cisse - were taken to hospital but escaped serious injury.

Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reports that the driver of the VIP bus has been detained and an investigation launched.

Alanyaspor chairman Hasan Cavusoglu claimed that the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel, while a second driver was also asleep at the time of the crash.   

“According to information I received from our police chief, despite there being two drivers on the vehicle, they were both asleep. The crash happened as a result of them both being asleep,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying.

The remainder of the club’s staff and players had returned either on the main team bus or on their own after the 1-1 draw against Kayserispor in Turkey’s top flight.

Striker Sural, who won 20 caps for the Czech national team,  joined Alanyaspor in January from Sparta Prague.  

He is survived by a wife and two children, the youngest of whom is just two months old.

On the news of his death, figures from the world of football paid tribute, including national goalkeeping legend Petr Cech and former team Sparta Prague.