KEIR RADNEDGE in SAO PAULO: Senior Brazilian football director Marco Polo Del Nero has tried to cool concerns over the threat of strikers causing transport chaos in Sao Paulo around the World Cup’s Opening Match.

Police used tear gas against striking metro workers on the second day of industrial action in pursuit of a pay rise which had brought traffic chaos to South America’s biggest city.

Union leaders had threatened to call a general strike of all workers in the city timed for Thursday when World Cup hosts Brazil open the finals against Croatia at the new Itaquero stadium.

Del Nero, president-elect of the Brazilian football confederation and a member of the executive committee of world federation FIFA, thought it was “problematic” whether strikers would fulfil their threat.

He said: “Naturally we hope that this issue can be resolved in good time but, in any case, it’s a minor problem. If the metro is not running people can use buses or cars. There are alternatives.”

The transport trouble affected attendance at Saturday’s warm-up in which Brazil beat Serbia in the city’s Morumbi stadium. Many fans walked to the game.

Del Nero, who succeeds Jose Maria Marin at the CBF in the autumn, said: “You can see that, despite this problem, the game still went ahead on schedule.”

Last Thursday several FIFA exco members, including vice-presidents Michel Platini and Jim Boyce, were trapped in traffic jams travelling in from Guarulhos airport.