Kuala Lumpur Football Association may be the youngest state association having been formed in 1975, but their achievements during the short period makes them veterans in the game. Formed as Federal Territory Football Association (FTFA), the association was actually a breakaway group from the FA Selangor. Led by former FA of Selangor secretary K. Rasalingam together with other members Goh Ah Chai, Hamzah Muhammad, M.J. Vincent, Shariff Mustafa, Jeswant Singh and Manickarajah, they saw the need for another association in the Klang Valley due to the growing numbers of clubs.
FTFA was officially formed in 1975 with Hamzah Abu Samah elected as their first president. Hamzah went on to become the F.A. of Malaysia president in 1977 and FTFA deputy president Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen took over at the helm. It was that year too that FTFA organised their first league with 30 clubs. Then it was just one division with the clubs being divided into the Dunhill League, Bandaraya (City) League, First Division, Second Division, Third Division, Reserve League and Government Departments and Business House League.
The following year FTFA was first represented at the national level when they competed in the Razak Cup (Under-18). It was in 1979, that the Federal Territory made their debut in the Malaysia Cup. They then started off as whipping boys but by 1982 were already making waves to be among the top teams in the league although they failed to win any titles. In 1984, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen stepped down as president and the Lord Mayor, Elyas Omar was elected the third president of the association.
The election of Elyas was about the best thing that happened to FTFA due to his dedication to the association. Elyas played a major role in raising the standard of football in Kuala Lumpur by introducing professionalism when he recruited players from other states and Singapore. He made available better training and playing facilities. In 1985, Federal Territory reached their first Malaysia Cup final after only competing in the tournament for seven seasons while other states, who have been in the competition since it was inaugurated in 1921, are still trying to reach the final.
FTFA officially changed its name to Kuala Lumpur Football Association (KLFA) in 1987 to better identify itself with the city. Kuala Lumpur joined the ranks of the heavyweights in the Malaysian soccer competition which saw them win the Charity Shield once (1987) in the four appearances, the League twice and the Malaysia Cup three years in a row (1987–1989). Kuala Lumpur also supplied a good number of players for the national team over the years.
Leadership in the KLFA kept changing hands after Elyas bin Omar stepped down with Megat Junid Megat Ayub taking over. In the 2014 Congress, Astaman Abdul Aziz stepped down and Federal Territories Ministry secretary general Adnan Md Ikhsan was elected the president while Astaman and Izudin Ishak are the deputy presidents.
Kuala Lumpur are also known internationally having hosted the Inter-City Tournament for several years. Among the participating countries were Czechoslovakia, England, Austria, Australia, Germany, Turkey and Indonesia. To improve football quality, exposure programmes to countries like Czechoslovakia were often organised.
The post-Elyas years saw lean pickings for Kuala Lumpur although they did win the Malaysia FA Cup three times in 1993, 1994 and 1999, which remains Kuala Lumpur’s last major trophy. Relegation from the then-Perdana 1 followed in 2002 and it took seven years before KL returned to the top-flight, finishing fourth in the Malaysia Premier League in 2009.
At present about 70 clubs are affiliated members of KLFA and are currently competing in the KL League and FA Cup (knock out). These clubs are divided into three divisions namely the Premier, Division 1, and Division 2.