The Confederation of African Football has joined the growing list of people in the football guild who have paid glowing tribute for Philemon Masinga, after his passing.
Phil Masinga was announced dead of an undisclosed illness on Sunday at age 49, however according to some sources, he had been admitted to hospital the previous month, due to cancer.
CAF deputy General Secretary Anthony Baffoe said the death of Phil Masinga is a great loss to South African football.
“He was a great player and one of the best among his generation. South African football has been left with a huge vacuum,” said Anthony Baffoe before adding.
“On behalf of CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, and the entire African football family, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the bereaved family. Our thoughts are with them in this difficult moment,” he added.
Nicknamed ‘Chippa’, he was a key component of the Bafana Bafana squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996 on home soil. He also played at the FIFA World Cup in 1998 in France.
Masinga played for Jomo Cosmos and Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, before joing Leeds United between 1994 and 1996.
He also had spells at St Gallen in Switzerland and Italian clubs Salernitana and Bari before joining Abu Dhabi based Al-Wahda where he retired from.
He made his debut for South Africa in July 1992 against Cameroon in his country’s first match following their readmission to international football by Fifa after the end of Apartheid period.
He will best be remembered for his goal against Congo, which ensured South Africa qualified for their first World Cup appearance in 1998 which was held in France, and also being a member of the triumphant 1996 Africa Cup of Nations squad.