SA soccer salutes fallen star Masinga
“THE death of Phil Masinga means we have lost a giant of South African football.”
That was the reaction from soccer boss Danny Jordaan as he joined the many tributes that poured in for Masinga, the legendary Bafana Bafana striker, who died yesterday aged 49.
Masinga had been ill for some time but his death still came as a big shock to the country’s football family.
Masinga played 58 matches for the national team and will always be treasured for scoring the goal against Congo in 1997 that secured South Africa’s first World Cup appearance in 1998.
Jordaan said: “I am really gutted. I saw him last Sunday before I flew to Dakar. Although he was not feeling well, he was in good spirits and I promised to visit him again this week – and now our hero is gone.
“Phil was a loyal servant of the game on and off the field. His goal against Congo which took us (South Africa) to our first World Cup in France in 1998 is still the most celebrated goal in the country to date.”
Doctor Khumalo, himself a legend in the Bafana shirt, was stunned over Masinga’s passing. “It’s a sad moment for South Africa football and throughout the world because he was internationally known. I’d like to thank the Masinga family for giving us the opportunity to be around Chippa.
“To me, especially, he might have made me who I am today. Remember in the game when you give the final pass, the finisher is the most important person and he is the one that made me look better. He is the one that made people to recognise who I am.”
Former Bafana captain Lucas Radebe, who shared many glorious moments with Masinga for South Africa and English Premiership team Leeds United, said Masinga had “rare qualities.”
“It is a great loss to South African football. He made an impact wherever he was. He was very straight-forward. He always said what he felt. When we needed him, he delivered.
PHIL Masinga celebrates after scoring the winning goal in South Africa’s 2-1 victory over the DRC in Togo in 1997. | Touchline Photo
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