‘We’ve lost a giant of football
● Football world shocked by death of Bafana Bafana hero Phil Masinga
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