Phil Masinga. Picture: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGE PIX
Phil Masinga. Picture: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGE PIX

SA football mourned the death of Bafana Bafana legend Phil "Chippa" Masinga on Sunday due to illness.

The 49-year-old Masinga lost his battle with cancer at a Johannesburg hospital.

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan joined the football world in remembering and mourning Masinga.

"We have lost a giant of South African football. This is a sad day for our football‚" said Jordaan.

The football world took to social media to pay tribute to soccer star Phil Masinga who died on January 13 2018 in Johannesburg. Masinga made international headlines after he scored the legendary goal against Congo that sent South Africa to its first World Cup in France in 1998.

Masinga was admitted to Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp in December before he was transferred to a Johannesburg hospital where he was diagnosed with cancer.

Jordaan visited him with members of his executive committee last week.

Masinga did not look too well but he did not expect him to "leave us so soon", Jordaan said.

"I am really gutted. I saw him last Sunday 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.

"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," he said.

Masinga was an active member of the SA Masters and Legends Football Association, the president of which, Buddha Mathathe, was stunned after the family had informed him of
his passing.

"He is gone. Our legend is gone. It is not right‚" said an emotional Mathathe on Sunday.

"It is such tragic loss for the family and for the entire country. He is no ordinary legend; he was an international legend."

Masinga was born on June28 1969 in Klerksdorp, North West, and played for clubs such as Mamelodi Sundowns‚ Jomo Cosmos‚ Leeds United‚ Saint Galliens in Switzerland‚ FC Bari and Salernitana in Italy.

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 #LUFC are with his family and friends."

Confederation of African Football deputy secretary-general 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," Baffoe tweeted.