Tributes pour in for soccer legend Phil Masinga

Masinga, who was affectionately known as Chippa, died on Sunday after battling a long illness.

Bafana Bafana legend Phil Masinga. Picture: Twitter  @BafanaBafana.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Football Association (Safa) has described soccer legend Phil Masinga as a humble soul that loved to see cooperation and harmony with those he worked with.

Masinga, affectionately known as Chippa, died on Sunday after battling a long illness. He was 49-years-old.

The legend is known for scoring the crucial goal that sent Bafana Bafana to the 1998 Fifa World Cup held in France.

Masinga also played for Leeds United in the English Premiership in the 1990s along with Lucas Radebe. It’s understood the striker scored more than 150 goals in 328 professional appearances.

Safa president Danny Jordaan says he will forever be remembered in the football fraternity.

“His humility and ability always to try and find cooperation, agreement, and people working together on the administration side in my experience there. And it was a joy when we travelled around the world with him.”

At the same time, Sport Minister Tokozile Xasa said she was saddened by the passing of Masinga. The minister has sent her condolences to the Masinga family, his friends and football loving people.

“Phil belongs to that golden generation of 1996 that won the Africa Cup of Nations. Chippa is best remembered when he scored a goal against Congo Brazzaville in a World Cup qualifying match that booked us a ticket to the World Cup in France.” Xasa said in a statement.

She said Masinga will not only be remembered as a great footballer but an ambassador for the game and South Africa.

“He is among the first players to play in a major league. His success in Europe had inspired many generations of footballers to follow his lead.”

Political parties are also sending condolences to the family and friends of Masinga, with the Congress of the People (Cope) being the latest.

Cope says the soccer legend’s passing is a huge loss for the football fraternity and the nation.

Spokesperson Dennis Bloem said: “We are very saddened about the sudden passing of Phil ‘Chippa’ Masinga. It is not only his family that have lost this great giant of soccer but the entire country.”