A fitting commemoration, bringing together past and present soccer stars to pay tribute to a legend like no other who not only excellent in local clubs but went as far as to represent the nation in the world stage.

Scores of fans, friends and former colleagues gathered to commemorate the soccer legend at a memorial service at his home town in Khuma, near Klerksdorp in North West.

South African Football Association (SAFA) in the North West says soccer legend Phil Masinga played a pivotal role in getting support for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.

SAFA provincial representative David Molwantwa was speaking at Masinga’s memorial service at Khuma Stadium near Klerksdrop.

Masinga, who was affectionately called ‘Chippa’, died at a Johannesburg hospital two weeks ago following a battle with cancer. He was 49.

Molwantwa says through his role as SAFA ambassador, Masinga made people start to respect South African football.

“Chippa was an ambassador of SAFA and he criss-crossed the world to gunner support for South Africa in order to host the soccer World Cup, which we ultimately hosted in 2010. So, he played a pivotal role in swaying support towards SAFA hosting the 2010 World Cup.”

Masinga’s unexpected passing has left a void in the football community, with many believing that his fate may have been different had he received the necessary assistance on time.

Masinga’s former colleague and friend, Erich September says, “He needed undivided attention. As people like Nel Tovey, he had 3. He was my teammate national and club level, under Teenage Dladla. Nel Tovey had three heart strokes and he survived because he had immediate help. Attention was given to him in time. Maybe, I don’t say Chippa would not or be here, but if he was given attention of high standards in time maybe he would still be with us.”

Masinga’s former employer, Mamelodi Sundowns committed to pay for his children’s education fees. Mamelodi Sundowns spokesperson Alex Shakwane says the club will now have to carry Masinga’s responsibilities as the family head.

“We want to commit that these children must be educated and at Sundowns we have a scheme to educate students. So if we can do that to 300 students all over the country, what about 3. 3 little kids? Even myself with my smaller salary I can pay for them. But those children will be educated Mama, I promise.”

Masinga is survived by his wife Ntombi and 4 children. Masinga will be laid to rest in Khuma on Thursday.

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