Football fields have existed in Sarawak before World War I, for example in Bau, Buso, Bid, Sungei Tengah and Dalian. The teams were composed of European assistants and Asian staff. In 1924, the Kuching Wanderers were formed, a team mainly consisting of Europeans.
On January 16, 1926, the Wanderers were formed into the Kuching Football Club and from that date until 1933, the Europeans of Kuching were able to field two teams and played regularly twice a week, and additionally played for the James Buchanan Cup, named after James Buchanan, the fifteenth President of the United States. In 1933, however, regular matches stopped as several players left the country due to the world's economic slump. Nonetheless, in 1934, the Kuching Football Association, predecessor of the current association, was founded.
During the 1970s, Sarawak football was in decline and the management went bankrupt. The current Football Association of Sarawak was founded in 1974 by Datuk Haji Taha Ariffin, with assistance from the Sarawak Government. Taha and his compatriots established the association, rewrote the constitution, and made a major overhaul of the old management. With the establishment of the Piala Sarawak (or Sarawak Cup), the association progressed greatly, and later organised the Piala Borneo (Borneo Cup) to provide training and experience to the newly formed team.
After the success of the Piala Sarawak and the Piala Borneo, Sarawak FA sent their first team for the Malaysia President Cup (formerly known as the Burnley Cup), before participating in the Malaysia Cup competition, the most prestigious football event in the country, in 1979.
After another decade of slow progress, in 1988, new coach Awang Mahyan Awang Mohamad introduced the slogan Ngap Sayot and brought the team to its first Malaysia Cup semi-final, defeating several times deemed to be stronger than Sarawak FA, for example the state teams of Selangor FA, Kedah FA, Kuala Lumpur FA and Pahang FA. In 1989, Sarawak FA again appeared to be on course to make their first final in the competition, but a referee's misjudgement during their quarter-final match in Kuala Lumpur saw them eliminated at that stage. The incident strained national integration and caused the FAS to withdraw its affiliation from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for a short while.
During this time, under the management of Awang Mahyan Awang Mohamad and Alan Vest, the team had risen from an underachiever to a successful side. Following the addition of foreign players in early 1990s, Sarawak FA won the Malaysian FA Cup, the Malaysian Super League and the Malaysian Charity Shield. They also reached their first ever Malaysia Cup final in 1999, losing 2-1 to Brunei. They have also been knocked out of the Super League when in place on the bottom of the 2007-2008 season, but they managed to get back into the league.