‘We’ve lost a gi­ant of foot­ball

● Foot­ball world shocked by death of Bafana Bafana hero Phil Masinga

The Herald (South Africa) - - Front Page - Mn­i­nawa Nt­loko and Ofentse Rat­sie

The foot­ball world is mourn­ing the shock pass­ing of Bafana Bafana leg­end Phil “Chippa” Masinga on Sun­day.

The 49-year-old Masinga lost a long bat­tle with can­cer.

A stunned SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) pres­i­dent Danny Jordaan de­scribed the like­able and pop­u­lar for­mer player’s pass­ing as a sad day for the sport.

“We have lost a gi­ant of South African foot­ball. This is a sad day for our foot­ball‚” he said.

Masinga was ad­mit­ted to the Tshe­p­ong Hos­pi­tal in Klerks­dorp last month be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to a Johannesburg hos­pi­tal, where he was di­ag­nosed with can­cer.

Jordaan vis­ited him with mem­bers of his ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee last week be­fore fly­ing out to Dakar‚ Sene­gal.

“I am re­ally gut­ted.

“I saw him last Sun­day be­fore I flew to Dakar and al­though he was not feel­ing well‚ he was in good spir­its and I promised to visit him again some­time this week and now our hero is gone‚” Jordaan said.

“Phil was a loyal ser­vant of the game – on and off the field of play.

“His goal against Congo which took us [SA] to our first World Cup in France in 1998‚ is still the most cel­e­brated goal in the coun­try to date‚” he said.

Masinga was an ac­tive mem­ber of the SA Mas­ters and Leg­ends Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, and pres­i­dent Bud­dha Mathathe was stunned after the fam­ily in­formed him of his death.

“He is gone. Our leg­end is gone. It is not right‚” an emo­tional Mathathe said on Sun­day morn­ing.

“It is such a tragic loss for the fam­ily and the coun­try. He is no or­di­nary leg­end‚ he was an in­ter­na­tional leg­end.”

Masinga was born on June 28 1969 in Klerks­dorp in the North West and played for, among other clubs, Mamelodi Sun­downs‚ Jomo Cos­mos‚ Leeds United in the UK‚ Saint Gal­liens in Switzer­land‚ and FC Bari and Saler­ni­tana in Italy.

Leeds United tweeted soon after the death of the foot­ball leg­end: “It is with great sad­ness that the club has learnt of for­mer striker Phil Masinga’s pass­ing. The thoughts of ev­ery­one at #LUFC are with his fam­ily and friends.”

Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral and for­mer Ghana in­ter­na­tional foot­baller An­thony Baf­foe took to Twit­ter on Sun­day and posted: “We have lost an­other hero – Phil Masinga just passed away.

“Rest well Phil . . . May your soul rest in per­fect peace.”

The PSL ob­served a mo­ment of si­lence for Masinga.

It con­firmed that this had been ob­served at all Absa Premier­ship‚ Na­tional First Divi­sion and Mul­tiChoice Diski Chal­lenge matches on Sun­day.

“The PSL will re­mem­ber the life of Masinga – a man who con­trib­uted im­mensely to the his­tory of our foot­ball‚” the PSL said.

“To­day‚ the league joins the rest of Africa and the world in mourn­ing Masinga’s pass­ing.”

The na­tion’s soc­cer lovers took to so­cial me­dia to mourn.

Fans‚ coaches‚ for­mer play­ers‚ col­leagues and the me­dia took to Twit­ter to pay trib­ute to the like­able Masinga after the con­fir­ma­tion of his death.

“The man whose goal se­cured South Africa’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion to France 1998‚ the coun­try’s first #WorldCup‚” the of­fi­cial Twit­ter ac­count of the Fifa World Cup said.

“Our thoughts are with the fam­ily and friends of Phil Masinga.”

His for­mer club Jomo Cos­mos tweeted: “We’ve just been hit by the sad news that Bafana Bafana and Jomo Cos­mos FC leg­end‚ Phile­mon ‘Chippa’ Masinga has passed on.

“May his gen­tle soul rest in Per­fect Peace.”

The PSL said: “Farewell Chippa Masinga. Foot­ball will never for­get you . . . #PhilMasinga.”

Sizwe Mehluli tweeted: “Phil Masinga cal­i­bre of play­ers will be missed for­ever . . . those play­ers played each game for Bafana Bafana as if it was a World Cup fi­nale . . .

“Rest in Eter­nal Peace ?? #RIPMasinga.”

Masinga won 58 caps for Bafana.‚ help­ing coach Clive Barker’s troops to win the African Na­tions Cup at the FNB Sta­dium in 1996. –

‘We have lost a gi­ant of South African foot­ball. This is a sad day for our foot­ball’ Danny Jordaan

SA FOOT­BALL AS­SO­CI­A­TION PRES­I­DENT

‘He is no or­di­nary leg­end‚ he was an in­ter­na­tional leg­end’ Bud­dha Mathathe

SA MAS­TERS AND LEG­ENDS FOOT­BALL AS­SO­CI­A­TION PRES­I­DENT

NO OR­DI­NARY FOOT­BALLER: Phil Masinga pic­tured dur­ing the star’s play­ing days

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