MPUMALANGA has pulled out all the stops to make sure Chile's national team is safe and well taken care of.
Police spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi said SAPS officers had been deployed at Ingwenyama Lodge, where the team is staying ahead of the tournament kickoff.
"Before the team entered the premises we called the dog unit to search the place. We also assigned the bomb squad to check the premises. Our officers escort the team to training sessions at KaNyamazane Stadium.
"We are providing 24-hour protection. (Today) we are going to escort the team to KaNyamazane Stadium, where they will be playing against New Zealand."
Tickets for the friendly game today are available from all Mbombela municipal centres, including KaNyamazane, Matsulu, White River, Hazyview, KaBokweni and Nelspruit Civic.
Excited soccer fans who spoke to Sowetan yesterday said they were happy to host Chile.
Aaron Mooki, who lives in White River, said he was at the airport on Sunday to welcome them.
"I was very happy to see some of the Chilean footballers. I will make sure that I don't miss the game between Chile and Honduras and I also don't want to miss the Italian national team, who will also play at Mbombela Stadium," Mooki said.
Mbombela municipality 2010 marketing, and events manager Ronny Moyo said tickets for the Chile-New Zealand friendly will be available free.
"We urge fans to report anyone seen selling the tickets," he said.
Chile will play their first game against Honduras on June 16 at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. Chile, Honduras, Spain and Switzerland are in Group H.