Last night I played four online matches and my opponents managed:
Match 1: 11 tackles and 0 fouls
Match 2: 11 tackles and 0 fouls
Match 3: 14 tackles and 0 fouls
Match 4: 25 tackles and 2 fouls (0 direct free kicks).
4 matches: 61 tackles against my players and 2 fouls awarded in the midfield. I didn't receive 1 direct free kick in four matches. I won 2, lost 1, and drew 1. So this isn't a complaint thread or anything because I feel the game screwed me. In fact, I don't feel it screwed me: I lost a game I felt I should have won, and won a match I most definitely deserved to lose. Fair enough.
Rather, my point is the inability or unwillingness of this design team to correct an issue in this game as fundamental as refereeing decisions (or, at least, explain why the refereeing is intended to function this way in game) and tackling logic (e.g., why defenders can obstruct, truck through players, and slide in from all angles without being called for a foul) is a real issue that needs to be addressed.
I'm not intending to say FIFA 17 is a bad game. The game clearly still functions well enough; we can all still have fun playing matches. But, in particular, if you're going to market a competitive approach to FUT this year with weekend league, then you need functional refereeing in the game. Instead we have a game in which players can get battered all over the pitch without a foul being called, and every player - from someone like Pique to a 48 rated bronze on 2 chem - can make perfect slide tackles or elastic-legged standing tackles.
It just feels like at the start of 16 there was a spate of awful penalty decisions, and the developers' solution was to turn all the refs into eunuchs. But that's no solution at all; it just corrected one problem by going so far to the other extreme as to replace it with another problem. The game needs balance; the game needs fouls to properly be called by the refs. Sliding in from behind has to be called a foul. Obstruction has to be called a foul. Reckless challenges have to be called fouls. Gameplay balance is essential and the development team need to do a hell of a lot better than what they have thus far produced with the refereeing and tackling in this game.
I hope this doesn't read like I'm bitter because of losing, or something, because that's not my intent. I'm actually trying to make a constructive point.