Josef Sural

Associated Press

Bus carrying Turkish club crashes, killing Czech international Sural

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A mini-bus carrying a number of squad members from Turkish club Alanyaspor crashed just outside the club’s home city of Alanya on Sunday, killing 28-year-old Czech international Josef Sural.

The bus was returning from the club’s match against Kayserispor when the driver reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.

Former QPR and Cardiff City defender Steven Caulker was also reportedly aboard the bus, one of six players other than Sural on board, but none of them were seriously harmed. Former Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse was also aboard the bus, according to Turkish news reports. Also reportedly aboard the bus was Angolan winger Djalma Campos, Brazilian defenders Baiano and Welinton, and Ghanian international Isaac Sackey.

Sural owned 20 caps for the Czech Republic and was a member of their Euro 2016 squad. He scored his only international goal against the Netherlands in a 3-2 win during Euro 2016 qualification.

“Our Czech footballer Josef Sural was gravely injured when our private minibus carrying seven of our footballers had an accident coming back from an away game in Kayseri,” the club posted in a tweet. “Despite the Alanya Anadolu private hospital’s best efforts, Sural couldn’t be saved. May he rest in peace.”

The 28-year-old had just joined Alanyaspor in January, his first foray abroad after spending his entire career inside the Czech professional ranks playing for Sparta Praha, Slovan Liberec, and Zbojovka Brno. He made three starts since joining but was mostly used as a substitute, and was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw with Kayserispor on Sunday.

Czech FA president Martin Malik said, “I want to express my deepest sympathy to my family and friends. Pepa was a humble man who we will all miss very much. We’ll never forget you.”