Hooliganism seems set to play a role in the decision of which country will host the 2012 European Championships, ahead of the vote in Cardiff today.
Italy are bidding for the right against two joint bids -- from Hungary-Croatia and Poland-Ukraine.
Italy are the favorites to win the vote but it is their record on hooligan violence that may well come back to haunt them, a factor that has not been lost on Luca Pancalli, the extraordinary commissioner for the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).
"I'm optimistic," he insisted. "Paradoxically, I would have had many more doubts if there had not been what has happened."
Soccer-related violence has been a hot topic around Europe this season, ever since a policeman was killed after clashes broke out during the Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo in February.
More recently, several Manchester United fans were stabbed while attending a Champions League match against Roma in Rome, during which the away fans were also baton-charged by police.
But Pancalli is remaining defiant.
"We have never doubted," he said. "Firstly because violence is not a problem inherent only in Italian soccer. There have been problems elsewhere."
"Added to that, the political classes, the Olympic Committee [Coni] and the federation have responded seriously and quickly, like never before," he added.
That has not stopped Italy's rivals from trying to make the most of the country's problems, though.
However, Poland and Ukraine's bid is itself beset by problems, with Ukraine gripped by a political crisis and Poland's soccer authorities recovering from a corruption scandal.
"The events in Kiev certainly don't help us but there's no need to panic. Ukraine will have democratic elections and the situation will become stable again," said Polish Sports Minister Tomasz Lipiec before turning his attentions to his own country.
"The fact that we have launched an anti-corruption campaign can only work in our favor," he added.
And having defended his own bid he attacked those of their rivals.
"You can also talk about unstable governments in Italy, as well as corruption in football. Plus they have a hooligan problem. Hungary also has political stability issues, while there's a problem with stadium security in Croatia," he added.