Josef Sural death: Czech footballer killed in minibus crash involving ex-Premier League stars Steven Caulker and Papiss Cisse

Striker who played 30 times for the Czech Republic suffered fatal injuries when a minibus carrying him and six teammates crashed while returning from the 1-1 draw against Kayserispor in Turkey on Sunday

Jack de Menezes
Monday 29 April 2019 09:11
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Josef Sural was killed in a minibus accident while travelling back from an Alanyaspor match, aged 28
Josef Sural was killed in a minibus accident while travelling back from an Alanyaspor match, aged 28

Czech Republic football player Josef Sural has died after the minibus that he was in along with a number of Alanyaspor players crashed on its way back from a match, aged 28.

Sural, a striker for Turkish top flight club Alanyaspor and the Czech national team, died at the hospital where he and six of his teammates were taken after the crash, the club said on Twitter on Monday morning.

The club’s chairman has since claimed that the accident was a result of the driver falling asleep at the wheel, with police investigating the fatal crash.

Seven Alanyaspor players had rented a VIP minibus to return from the club's 1-1 draw against Kayserispor on Sunday, when their vehicle crashed around three miles from the southern coastal town of Alanya, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Former Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool defender Steven Caulker was also involved in the crash, as was ex-Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse. Both reportedly suffered minor injuries.

The rest of the club's players and staff had returned with the team bus or on their own, Anadolu said, adding that the driver of the VIP bus had been detained following the accident and an investigation had been launched.

Club Chairman Hasan Cavusoglu was quoted as saying the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel of the minibus. A second driver was asleep at the time.

"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," Anadolu quoted Cavusoglu as saying.

Josef Sural (left) joined Alanyaspor from Sparta Prague in January

He said the other six players injured in the crash were not in critical condition.

Sural played 20 times for his country after making his international debut in 2013, which included appearing at Euro 2016, scoring once in the 3-2 qualifier victory over the Netherlands in October 2015.

His last appearance for the Czech Republic came in a substitute appearance against Ukraine in October last year, and during his career he played for Czech sides FC Brno, FC Slovan Liberec and Sparta Prague before sealing a move to Alanyaspor in January. He held a prolific record in the Czech First League, scoring 30 times in 113 appearances for Liberec and 20 times from 67 appearances with Sparta Prague.

Former England defender Steven Caulker was also injured in the crash

He had scored once from nine appearances this season in Turkey’s Super Lig.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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