The South African football fraternity is mourning the passing of former striker Philemon Masinga who was recently hospitalised following a long illness.
‘Chippa’ was reportedly on his way to recovery, but the South African Football Association (Safa) has announced on Sunday that the former Mamelodi Sundowns striker has passed away.
Masinga was hospitalized in December last year after suffering from an undisclosed illness and was reportedly recovering just after he was hospitalized at Tshepong Hospital and later moved to Parktown in Johannesburg.
Although the details remain sketchy for now, ‘Chippa’ was one of the most influential figures in South African football as he helped take the national team to dizzy heights in the past 15 years.
The former Jomo Cosmos hitman represented the 1996 African champions for more than 50 times and netted 18 goals, he was a key player for coach Clive Barker’s squad in 1996 where they lifted the Caf African Cup of Nations trophy on home soil.
On the other hand, Masinga also played for European clubs such as Leeds United in England, St. Gallen in Switzerland, Bari and Salernitana in the Italian Serie A as well as Al-Wahda in Abu Dhabi before retiring in 2002.
With tributes pouring in from family, friends, Safa, suppporters and former clubs such as Leeds, the details of his funeral are yet to be announced.
Born in Klerksdorp in the North West province, Masinga passed away at the age of 49 and will be remembered for scoring a crucial goal for Bafana in 1997.
The lanky forward netted against Congo Brazzaville at the FNB Stadium, a goal which ensured the South Africans booked their first ticket to the FIFA World Cup which was staged in France.