Are we importing soccer hooligans from the east?

Images of Russian hooligans involved in brawls in the center of Athens alongside their Greek counterparts have caused concern and perplexity. Was this a mere coincidence that got blown out of proportion due to their country’s history of hooliganism, or is it the first clear indication that soccer thuggery has gone global? Affiliations are a standard tactic among soccer supporters from different countries, who claim that they are a matter of public relations. But the involvement of extreme right-wing hooligans from the former Eastern bloc, where an ideological vacuum afflicted an entire generation, seems to cast doubt on the harmless, sport-loving nature of bilateral relations among supporters.