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South Africa and Leeds United star Phil Masinga dies at 49

South African soccer legend Philemon “Phil” Masinga has passed away, the nation’s football association has announced on its Twitter account.

“Sad day for South African football,” South African Football Association president Danny Jordan said in a post on the social media platform.

“A loyal servant of the game, on and off the field of play.”

No further details have been announced about Masinga’s death.

Masinga scored 18 goals in 58 matches between 1992 and 2001 for South Africa, including the strike against Republic of the Congo, in 1997, that famously secured Bafana Bafana’s first World Cup finals appearance, at the 1998 tournament in France. He featured in the South Africa side that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996 and when when Bafana Bafana finished second to Egypt in the 1998 tournament.

He played club football in South Africa for Jomo Cosmos and Mamelodi Sundowns before moving to Leeds United in 1994, in a deal that saw fellow South Africa star Lucas Radebe also move to Elland Road.

Masinga played for Leeds until 1996, after which he moved to St Gallen in Switzerland. He played subsequently for Salernitana and Bari in Italy before finishing his playing career with Al Wahda in Abu Dhabi.

Masinga had previously been reported to have been recovering well after being admitted to hospital with an undisclosed illness.

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