Seeking to bounce back

Thursday, May 25th, 2023 10:30 | By
David Owino of Kenya Police FC (L) defends the ball from John Macharia of Gor Mahia during their FKF-PL match held at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi on February 25 2023. PHOTO/Rodgers Ndegwa
David Owino of Kenya Police FC (L) defends the ball from John Macharia of Gor Mahia during their FKF-PL match held at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi on February 25 2023. PHOTO/Rodgers Ndegwa

Gor Mahia coach Johnathan McKinstry has praised the spirit of his players after the 2-1 Mashemeji derby defeat against AFC Leopards as they prepare to take on league leaders and title rivals Tusker on Sunday.

K’Ogalo will take on the Brewers in the FKF Premier League fixture at Nyayo Stadium seeking to return to winning ways after the derby defeat saw them forfeit the top spot on the 18-team table.

McKinstry has admitted being impressed with how his players reported to training after the derby outcome adding their focus is to defeat Tusker in the fixture that could decide the title race.

“We lost our last game in the derby against AFC Leopards but I am happy the response I got from my players on return to training was excellent, they showed me they want to fight again and win the next game,” McKinstry told People Daily Sports.

“We all know we need to bounce back, the players look determined to get a win against Tusker, they look reenergized after that derby defeat, they want to make things right and the focus has been really good.

“It was unfortunate we dropped points against AFC, we played very well but could not take our chances including the penalty miss, but again AFC got two chances from set pieces and they scored, like I had said earlier, football can be cruel sometimes but we must get ready to make things better against Tusker, it is our next match so we need to get maximum points.”

McKinstry, however, warned his players against complacency insisting Tusker can hurt them if not handled with care.

.Tusker are topping the log with 64 points, one more than Gor Mahia while Nzoia Sugar are third with 60 points.

Meanwhile, FIFA and the World Health Organization (WHO) have agreed to extend their collaboration and to continue to use the power of football to promote healthy lifestyles and equal access to health services worldwide.

During the 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and FIFA President Gianni Infantino signed a four-year extension to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which has been in place since 4 October 2019.

“Health and football are perfect teammates. Promoting healthy lifestyles, safe stadiums and the physical and mental benefits of physical activity are among the many health goals WHO is proud to keep scoring with FIFA for the next four years,” said Dr Tedros. “WHO’s partnership with FIFA has already succeeded to share evidence-based messages to help people of all ages lead healthier and safer lives through the power of football and sport. WHO looks forward to continuing this journey.”

“We are proud to have signed and renewed the memorandum of understanding with the World Health Organization - we are proud to continue our relationship to pass important physical and mental health messages through our global football audience,” Gianni Infantino said. “I extend my gratitude to Dr Tedros, to his wonderful team, to everyone that helps in the healthcare sector - from doctors to nurses to healthcare professionals and health ministers -  and to everyone who contributes to make our lives better.”

Reflecting on the past four years, he added: “Both Dr Tedros and I felt that in a world that is more and more divided, maybe if the World Health Organization and FIFA join forces, we can achieve something, we can have even just a little impact to make our lives a little bit better. Since 2019, we have worked together with our colleagues at the World Health Organization to try to use the impact of football, that helps drive health for one and all.”

More on Sports