Phil ‘Chippa’ Masinga died of a cancer-related disease at a Johannesburg hospital yesterday morning.
SAFA president Dr Danny Jordaan has described the late Bafana Bafana legend Phil Masinga as a rare breed.

“Chippa”, as Masinga was popularly known in football circles, died of a cancer-related disease at a Johannesburg hospital yesterday morning. He was 49.

Masinga was admitted to Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp two months ago before he was transferred to a Johannesburg hospital last month where he was diagnosed with cancer.

“We have lost a giant of South African football this is a sad day for our football,” said Jordaan who was the first to break the news of Masinga’s death.

The Safa president visited Masinga with his Safa national executive committee on January 6 before flying to Dakar, Senegal. He said Masinga didn’t look too well but he didn’t expect him to “leave us so soon”.

“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.

Jordaan said Masinga was an active member of the South African Masters & Legends, an affiliate of Safa, adding he never missed any Safa meetings.

Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa said: “Phil belongs to that golden generation of 1996 that won the Africa Cup of Nations. Chippa is best remembered for scoring a goal against Congo Brazzaville in a World Cup qualifying match that booked Bafana Bafana a ticket to the World Cup in France.

Masinga was born on June 28, 1969, in Klerksdorp and played for, among other clubs, Jomo Cosmos; Leeds United in England together with Lucas Radebe; Saint Galliens in Switzerland; as well as FC Bari in Italy and Salernitana.

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

See Sport