International footballer Josef Sural lost his life when he and his teammates’ minibus crashed while returning to their Turkish football club, the club has said on Twitter. Initial reports suggest the drivers were asleep.
Sural and several of his teammates were traveling in a VIP minibus while returning from an away match. They were some 5 km (3.1 miles) away from Turkey’s central Mediterranean city of Alanya when the vehicle crashed, according to a Reuters report.
Club Chairman Hasan Cavusoglu said the accident took place because both of the minibus drivers fell asleep on the road.
“According to information I received from our police chief, despite there being two drivers in the vehicle, they were both asleep,” he was quoted as saying by the Anadolu news agency.
Sural and six other footballers were taken to a hospital, but the Czech midfielder could not be saved. The other six passengers were not in critical condition, Cavusoglu added.
Sural joined Alanyaspor in Turkey this January, having spent majority of his club career with Czech sides Sparta Prague, Slovan Liberec, and FC Brno.
Turkey’s football association said that a minute’s silence would be held for Sural ahead of the week’s league games.