Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president, Walter Nyamilandu Manda, has joined the football world in grieving South Africa’s football hero Phil Masinga, who passed away yesterday, after a long illness.
According to a report on Bafana Bafana Twitter account, Masinga lost his fight against cancer on Sunday.
The Malawi’s FA president said the deceased was the best striker, and he played with him in 1996 such that memories are still fresh in him.
“Phil was a legend. He was the best striker Bafana ever had. He was the toughest opponent I faced. Memories are still fresh in me of the World Cup preliminary match against Bafana in 1996 at Kamuzu Stadium,” he mourned according to a local online media.
Tributes all over the world are still trickling for the death of the 49-year-old, and amongst other people who have sent messages for his demise are Arsenal legend Ian Wright and former CAF African Footballer of the Year Kalusha Bwalya.
Wright wrote on his Twitter account that: “Rest in Peace Phil. We’ll never forget your goal that took South Africa to their first World Cup in 1998. A legend of South African football and loved by @LUFC and Sundowns fans around the world. #RIPPhilMasinga.”
While Bwalya wrote: “My heart is deeply saddened by the loss of my former opponent, my gallant colleague and #Africanfootball legend #PhilMasinga #Gone2soon #RIPMasinga Rest In Peace my brother #Bafana.”
Masinga scored a winning goal against Republic of Congo that qualified South Africa for their first ever World Cup in 1998, and he was part of the 1996 AFCON-winning team.
He made 58 appearances for Bafana and scored 18 times, and at club level in his career he played for Jomo Cosmos, Mamelodi Sundowns, Leeds United, St. Gallen, Salernitana, Bari and Al-Wahda.