Former Fijian referee Hari Raj Naicker has died ©FASANOC

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) has paid tribute to former football referee and sports administrator Hari Raj Naicker, who has died age 78.

Naicker, thought to be the first Fijian to become a certified FIFA referee, was inducted into the Fiji Olympic Order by the FASANOC in 2006.

He served as a FIFA referee for 17 years before he retired at the mandatory age of 55.

A former Justice of Peace, Commissioner of Oaths in Fiji, Naicker received the FIFA Order of Merit in 2012.

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Naicker was given the Fiji 50th Independence Commemorative medal and a diploma from the International Olympic Committee during his career.

He also served on the Board of the Fiji National Sports Commission.

A funeral service has been held for Naicker in Nakasi, attended by hundreds of mourners.

"FASANOC and its member National Federations extend their deepest sympathy to the Fiji Football fraternity and the Naicker family," the FASANOC said.