POLICE were drafted in after an English Defence League football match was organised on a pitch normally used by Asian youths.

Blackburn magistrates heard shortly after the EDL game, involving 20 to 25 white males, started, about 30 Asian males arrived at the concrete pitches in Queens Park.

The two groups were playing on adjoining pitches but tempers flared and words were exchanged when the ball from the Asian game went over to the other side.

Nicholas John Smyth, 26, of Sherwood Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to using racially-aggravated threatening behaviour.

He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £85 costs.

Joanne Close, prosecuting, said during the football matches there was an altercation between Smyth and one of the Asian men.

When the EDL game finished, they congregated near the fence separating the two pitches and Smyth started shouting at the Asian male to “come and sort it out”.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said Smyth had gone to play football with a few friends.

He realised there were members of the EDL there, although he was not a member of the organisation.

Mr Taylor said when the Asian males arrived they tried to take over both pitches, which led to tension.

“It seems that normally this area is exclusively used by Asians,” said Mr Taylor.

“Words were exchanged when the Asian males tried to get on the pitch where the white males were playing.

“My client heard racist comments coming from the Asian males and he accepts that he responded.

“He says he can’t understand why the police officers seemed unable to hear the comments coming from the other side.”