Tributes continue to pour in for Phil Masinga

Former Bafana Bafana striker Phil 'Chippa' Masinga
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Tributes are continuing to pour for former Bafana Bafana Striker, Phil ‘Chippa’ Masinga.

Lamontville Golden Arrows coach and former Bafana Bafana Captain, Steve Komphela, has described the death of Bafana Bafana striker Phil Masinga as a huge blow to the nation. He died at a Johannesburg hospital on Sunday morning after losing a long battle to cancer.

Masinga who was 49, was a member of the class of ’96 that won the country’s only Africa Cup of Nations title.

Komphela and Masinga, who was affectionately called ‘Chippa’, were part of the first ever Bafana Bafana squad which was announced in July 1992 to face Cameroon in a friendly international following the country’s re-admission to the world governing body FIFA.

Masinga scored 18 goals for Bafana Bafana in 58 matches.

Komphela says he was one of the most gifted strikers the country had ever produced.

“He had lived a life so that we can share partly his legacy and also have an opportunity to tap into the wisdom and the talent God had given him. We’ve missed out on that. And maybe from now on-wards, knowing South Africans, there will be everybody saying all good things about Philemon. But when he was still alive did we act right? Did we appreciate his presence? It’s a pity again?”

Masinga’s former coach and mentor, Jomo Sono, has described him as a rare talent.

Sono, who discovered Masinga while he was playing football in mining areas in the North West, says his death is a great loss to the country.

Former soccer player and commentator Marks Maponyane has also joined those that are paying tribute to Masinga.

Maponyane says he knew Masinga as a youngster who was determined to be the best.

“We’d sit together and talk about scoring goals because we happened to be in the same area in Protea north when Cosmos players were staying in the area. He was a youngster that always had a nose and ambition to be the best and he was working towards that all the time and that is why he ended up having played well in England at Leeds and having played well in Italy also.”

One of Masinga’s former colleagues Mlungisi Alexander says he grow up with Masinga and always knew that he would go far.

“He showed potential when we were growing up. I don’t think I’m in a positive space at the moment to be able to deal with that. I would like us to give the family an opportunity to deal with this now. They will be able to appoint a spokesperson for the family to be able to address these issues.”

Football fans have taken to social media to pay tribute.