The Fiji Football fraternity is mourning the loss of former referee Hari Raj Naicker.
Naicker took his last breath this morning.
Fiji FA President Rajesh Patel says late Naicker had given over 60 years of his life to football.
Patel says he was one of Fiji’s best known teachers, a disciplinarian, volunteer, sports administrator, friend, father and citizen.
Patel also acknowledged the priceless contribution of Naicker in the football fraternity.
He says it’s a huge loss to the entire football fraternity as he was not only an inspirational icon in Fiji, but all over the region.
He has convey heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolence to the grieving family.
His funeral details will be announced soon.
Hari Raj Naicker is the third person in the country to receive a FIFA order of merit.
The FIFA order of merit is the highest honour awarded by FIFA.
Naicker was accompanied by his wife to the 62nd FIFA Congress in Budapest, Hungary where his 54 years of service to Fiji Football, and the Oceania region was recognised by FIFA.
He became a FIFA referee in 1975 and served for a record 17 years before taking his retirement in 1991.
Naicker served as the Fiji Football Referees’ National Secretary and was Chairman of the Fiji Football Association’s Referees Commission.
He was a FIFA Referee Instructor and the first from Fiji.
Naicker was a current board member of the Fiji National Sports Commission.
He was also the President for the Fiji Pensioners Association.