Phil had BMT and was not eas­ily shaken, says Jomo

Pretoria News - - SPORTS - MI­NENHLE MKHIZE Mi­[email protected]

“I’VE just lost one of my sons.” That was Jomo Sono’s heart­felt trib­ute to Phil “Chippa” Masinga after the leg­endary Bafana Bafana striker passed away yes­ter­day at the age of 49.

Sono, pic­tured, never doubted that Masinga was go­ing to make it big. He scouted his tal­ent back in 1990.

“To be hon­est, when a cer­tain or­gan in your body fails then it is (a) sign that you won’t stay long,” Sono said.“May his soul rest in peace. I’ve just lost one of my sons. I lost Sizwe Mo­taung and then it was Thomas Madi­gage, and now it is Phil.

“I wasn’t just a coach to these boys but I was a fa­ther, friend, man­ager and coach. Other coaches are wor­ried about re­sults and that’s how they see it.

“If you don’t pro­duce they get rid of you. I’m very proud to have worked with them. These are leg­ends and no­body can take that away from them.”

Masinga made 58 ap­pear­ances for Bafana, while notch­ing up 18 strikes.

He won the Africa Cup of Na­tions with Bafana in 1996 un­der the ten­ure of Clive Barker.

He will al­ways be re­mem­bered for the goal that he scored against Congo. His strike saw Bafana qual­i­fy­ing for their maiden Fifa World Cup in 1998 in France.

“Peo­ple will al­ways re­mem­ber Phil for the goal he scored against Congo but I will al­ways re­mem­ber Phil for the goal that he scored for Cos­mos against Or­lando Pi­rates com­ing off the bench,” Sono said.

“He was very skinny. When I sent him to warm up, Or­lando Pi­rates fans were laugh­ing at him. He was so small and young at that time. He came on and scored.”

Masinga also made his name in Europe play­ing for teams like Leeds United (Eng­land), St Gallen (Switzer­land), Saler­ni­tana and Bari (both Italy). He also had a suc­cess­ful stint with Mamelodi Sun­downs.

“Phil had big-match tem­per­a­ment. He was not eas­ily shaken. Even when they booed him, he still de­liv­ered for the coun­try. At that time it was play­ers from Jomo Cos­mos that were get­ting booed. It was po­lit­i­cal be­cause I was out­spo­ken. When they left Cos­mos, they were never booed. It was my play­ers, but Masinga was never shaken by that. He was strong men­tally, “Sono said.

Masinga died as an ac­tive mem­ber of SA Mas­ters and Leg­ends.

“I think it will take us time to pro­duce strik­ers like Phil, Shaun Bartlett and Benni McCarthy. What a player,” Sono said.

“He was al­ways hun­gry to score goals. His pres­ence was very in­tim­i­dat­ing.”

Masinga is fifth on the list of all­time lead­ing goal scor­ers be­hind McCarthy, Bartlett, and Katlego Mphela and Bernard Parker (who are tied on 23 goals).

“This is a great loss to South African foot­ball,” Sono said.

“I shared a lot with Phil. It is so un­for­tu­nate to lose him at the very young age. He was my son.”

Jomo Sono

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