PFA chief Gordon Taylor has urged Blackburn striker El-Hadji Diouf and QPR boss Neil Warnock to show "a measure of control and responsibility'' as their war of words threatens to spiral out of control.
Warnock likened Blackburn forward Diouf to a "sewer rat'' after accusing the player of taunting his injured forward Jamie Mackie during the sides' FA Cup third-round meeting last weekend.
Diouf hit back at the QPR boss on Thursday, saying: "Who is Warnock? He is nothing to me. He is not Alex Ferguson, he is not Arsene Wenger, he is not Sam Allardyce or an important manager.''
The Senegalese striker also denied jeering "F*** you and f*** your leg" at Mackie as he lay on the pitch clutching a broken leg, and therefore had nothing to apologise for.
Taylor tried to bring an end to the war of words as he told Sky Sports News: "(Sewer rat) was a very unfortunate turn of phrase and that's the only problem. Unless there is some measure of control and responsibility, one attack then invites a response and then of course the whole thing can blow up.''
Asked if he had any sympathy for Diouf, Taylor added: "Sometimes it takes all sorts. I've talked about the football family and our membership, as you know throughout the ages there have been different players who court trouble, there are different players who are great role models but ultimately everybody is responsible for their own actions.
"We have just got to try and make sure that everybody appreciates they are lucky to be in the game. That means a respect for the game, for your fellow professionals and those you are playing against.''
Warnock was furious with Diouf after last Saturday's game at Ewood Park, saying: "For many years I have thought he was the gutter type - I was going to call him a sewer rat but that might be insulting to sewer rats.''
Diouf said: "I am very sorry for the lad to have broken his leg, the QPR player. But what Warnock said - I never said that."