Transit strike plagues World Cup planning

Transit strike plagues World Cup planning

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Officials in Brazil say security will be up to the task for the World Cup. (Source: FOX) Officials in Brazil say security will be up to the task for the World Cup. (Source: FOX)

RIO DE JANEIRO (FOX) - The World Cup kicks off later this week in Brazil, but there are still serious questions about whether the country is ready.

A major transit strike and clashes between striking workers and police have officials worried about what will happen when the first games start on Thursday.

The World Cup is days away and tourists and die-hard soccer fans are now descending on Brazil ahead of the opening matches.

"I think it's just got real. I mean I think it has just dawned on us we're at the World Cup and we're watching England play. It will be my first England game against Italy so absolutely buzzing," said Jack Willis, a soccer fan in Brazil.

The Brazilian government says it has the security situation well in hand and brought their command-and-control center in Rio online on Monday.

"If someone is found carrying dangerous articles, we will find and resolve the crisis in time," said Roberto Alzir, deputy director of the security department in Rio de Janeiro.

But elsewhere, officials are dealing with a major transit strike in Sao Paulo now entering its fifth day. And it's clogging up traffic in Brazil's largest city and threatening to make Thursday's opening match a logistical nightmare.

Transit unions say the government is to blame.

"The government didn't want to negotiate with the workers. At this moment we are on our fifth day of our strike. We want negotiation, we want to resolve this today even. But we need the goodwill of the government and state," said Altino de Melo Prazeres, president of the Sao Paulo Metro Workers Union.

Most commuters in Sao Paulo are agreeing with the unions and say they don't care who started the strike - they just want the Brazilian government to end it.

"I think that the government has to do something to avoid this chaos affecting the people. We have no other option to be able to work," said Tatiane Brito, a Sao Paulo commuter.

Brazil is set to take on Croatia in the opening match.

Team U.S.A. faces off against Ghana on June 16.

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