Popular and world famous South African football player Phil Masinga has sadly passed away this morning at a hospital in Johannesburg, at the age of 49.
South African Football Association (SAFA) President Dr Danny Jordaan said: “Sad day for South African football. A loyal servant of the game, on and off the field of play.”
Masinga was admitted into Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp two months ago month, and was transferred to Parktown in Joburg, Gauteng, last month where he was diagnosed with a cancer, said SAFA.
Aside from being one of South Africa’s biggest legends, Masinga had won hearts worldwide, where he played for UK, Swiss and Italian clubs.
On Sunday morning one of the striker’s former clubs, Leeds United said: “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.”
Dr Jordaan described Masinga – who was popularly known as Chippa – as a “rare breed”.
“We have lost a giant of South African Football, this is a sad day for our football,” said Jordaan.
The SAFA President visited Masinga with his SAFA National Executive Committee last Sunday (6 January 2019) before flying out to Dakar, Senegal and said he didn’t look too well but didn’t expect him to ‘leave us so soon.”
“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,” added a sombre Dr Jordaan.
“Phil was a loyal servant of the game, on and off the field of play. 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,” he said. (Watch video below.)
The SAFA President said Masinga was an active member of the South African Masters & Legends an affiliate of SAFA adding Chippa never missed any of SAFA meetings.
The late Masinga was born on 28 June 1969 in Klerksdorp in the North West and played among other clubs Jomo Cosmos, Leeds United in England together with Lucas Radebe, Saint Galliens in Switzerland, FC Bari in Italy and Salernitana.
Condolences have poured in:
CAF deputy secretary general, Anthony Baffoe wrote: “We have lost another hero in Phil Masinga. May his soul rest in peace.”
Tsepo Mhlongo MP – DA Shadow Minister of Sport and Recreation – said in a press statement: “Masinga has left an indelible mark in the sporting fraternity and he serves as an inspiring example to us all that one’s background should not hinder how far they go in life… Lala ngoxolo Shobane, you have run your race.”
Mmusi Maimane, DA Leader, tweeted: “It’s with great sadness that I hear this. Phil Masinga, was true talent, international star. A part of the legendary Bafana squad. I loved watching him and send my my condolences to his family. As South Africa sport loving population, we mourn a legend. #RIPChippa.”
Prof Thuli Madonsela, former Public Protector, said it was a sad start to the year and sent heartfelt condolences.
The FIFA World Cup said: “The man whose goal secured South Africa’s qualification to France 1998, the country’s first #WorldCup. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Phil Masinga who has passed away aged 49.”
A sad start to the year with the news of the passing of former @BafanaBafana star Phil Masinga. Heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues. #RIPPhilMasinga pic.twitter.com/a02r3D9xnm
— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) January 13, 2019
This how I'll always remember Phil Masinga sending us to the 1998 world cup in France with a Screemer of a goal🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/xhkxRIE52C
— Lord Jobe👑 (@cpha_cthole) January 13, 2019
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 13, 2019
Sources include: SAFA.net, DA, Twitter