The president of the Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK), Fadil Vokrri – a key figure in Kosovo's admission as a UEFA member – has passed away at the age of 57.
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Football officials in Kosovo and Europe are mourning the president of the Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK), Fadil Vokrri, who has died suddenly at the age of 57.
Fadil Vokrri, who had a successful career as a player, was an inspirational leader in the progress and development of football in Kosovo, which culminated in the national association becoming UEFA's 55th member association in 2016.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Fadil Vokrri," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
"He was an outstanding footballer who enjoyed a most distinguished career, and became a football administrator and national association president of the highest calibre. Fadil was the key figure in Kosovo's football development which led to the Football Federation of Kosovo becoming a member of UEFA in 2016. In the period since then, he had guided the association's integration within UEFA with great skill and endeavour."
"On behalf of European football, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to his family, the Football Federation of Kosovo and Kosovo’s football community."
Born on 23 July 1960 in Podujevo, a town 35 kilometres south of the Kosovo capital Prishtina, Fadil Vokrri made his career debut for his hometown club KF Llapi, and went on to be considered as Kosovo's greatest ever footballer.
A striker, he made his name while playing for FC Prishtina in the early 1980s, making a crucial contribution in their promotion to Yugoslavia's top flight.
He was later transferred to FK Partizan (Yugoslavia at the time, now Serbia), before moving to Turkey, where he played for Fenerbahçe SK. He also had a short spell in France as a player and coach.
From 1984 to 1987, Fadil Vokrri represented Yugoslavia on the international stage, scoring six goals in 12 appearances.
At the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, he was the flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, and in 1987 he was voted Best Player of Yugoslavia.
He became president of the Football Federation of Kosovo in 2008, and was re-elected twice, in 2012 and 2016. In May 2016, after Fadil Vokrri had started his third term as FFK president, Kosovo was admitted to UEFA as a member at the Ordinary UEFA Congress in Budapest.