The Fiji Football Association president Rajesh Patel, Board Members together with the entire football fraternity is deeply saddened to learn the passing away of a football great, Hari Raj Naicker.
Naicker, who had his last breath this morning, had given over 60 years of his life to football.
He was one of Fiji’s best known teachers, a disciplinarian, volunteer, sports administrator, friend, father and citizen.
Fiji FA President Rajesh Patel acknowledged the priceless contribution of Naicker in the football fraternity.
“I’m lost for words. It’s a huge loss to the entire football fraterity as he was not only an inspirational icon in Fiji, but all over the region.
“The cabinet at his home with his achievements of trophies and medals speaks for itself the caliber of our late legend.
“I convey my heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolence to the grieving family and I pray to the Almighty that his soul rests in peace.”
His funeral details will be announced soon.
Some of his greatest achievements:
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 from 1975-2002 and was Chairman of the Fiji Football Association’s Referees Commission from 1997-2005.
He was a FIFA Referee Instructor and the first from Fiji.
In 1993 Naicker was named administrator of the Year by the Fiji Football Association.
In 1995 the Government of Fiji presented him with a 25th Anniversary Independence Medal and recognized him again in 1998 by conferring him a Medal of Order of Fiji.
In 1999 Hari Raj Naicker was made a Justice of the Peace.
In 2005 Naicker became a commissioner for Oaths.
In 2009 FASANOC proudly conferred the Fiji Olympic Order to Mr Hari Raj Naicker.
As a government liaison officer Hari met Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s during a visit in 1982.
Naicker was a current board member of the Fiji National Sports Commission.
He was also a Fiji FA Honorary Member.