FK Sarajevo was established on 24 October 1946 as the result of a merger between football teams Udarnik (Vanguard) and Sloboda (Liberty). The club first appeared on the Yugoslav sports scene in 1946 under the name SD Torpedo that represented an hommage to Torpedo Moscow. The first Chairman of the newly founded club was Safet Džinović, while Josip Bulat was named manager. The newly formed club played its first match on 3 November 1946. On the 5th of October 1947 it was decided that the club name shall be changed to SDM Sarajevo, before changing to the current name in 1949.
FK Sarajevo first entered the top-flight Yugoslav First League after eliminating Belgrade club Sloga. They drew the first match 3:3 in Novi Sad, but then won the second match 5:1 in Sarajevo. The team were relegated after their first season in the First League, but were promoted back to the top-tier in 1950. From then on FK Sarajevo played in every season of the First League apart from 1957-58.
A key player for Sarajevo in their early years was the striker Asim Ferhatović, nicknamed Hase, who played for the club from 1952 to 1967. In 1963-64, his total of 19 goals made him the top scorer in the First League, while the club finished fourth, finishing runner-up (to Partizan Belgrade) for the first time in the following season.
Sarajevo had a second successful spell in the 1970s and 1980s, led by attacking midfielder Safet Sušić who played from 1973 to 1982. In 1978-79, Sušić scored 15 goals and was named Player of the Season as Sarajevo finished fourth. The following year, Sušić's 17 goals helped retain his Player of the Year title, but he was also joint top scorer in the league. The club came runner-up that season, seven points behind Red Star Belgrade, therefore qualifying for the 1980-81 UEFA Cup. Sarajevo were knocked out there in the first round by German club Hamburger SV, who won 7:5 on aggregate.
Sarajevo returned to the UEFA Cup in 1982-83, beating Bulgaria's Slavia Sofia 6:4 in the first round and Romanian club FC Corvinul Hunedoara 8:4 in the second, thanks to a 4:0 home win in the second leg. In the third round (last 16), Sarajevo lost their first leg 6:1 to Belgian club RSC Anderlecht, and despite winning the second leg 1:0, were eliminated by the eventual champions. Sarajevo also reached the Yugoslav Cup final that season, losing 3:2 to Dinamo Zagreb in Belgrade.
Sarajevo won their second championship title in 1984-85, finishing four points ahead of runners-up Hajduk Split. The triumph qualified the club for the first round of the 1985-86 European Cup, where they lost both legs to Finnish club FC Lahti.
In 1994-95, the first-ever Bosnia and Herzegovina championship was held. Sarajevo came first in their six-team league in Jablanica, and came runners-up in the final league stage in Zenica, behind local club NK Čelik. Sarajevo again finished as runners-up to Čelik in 1996-97 (by two points), but beat the Zenica-based club in the Cup final and Super Cup. The Cup was retained the following year, and despite finishing third in the league, Sarajevo was runner-up due to play-offs. In 1998-99, Sarajevo came first in the league before winning the play-off final against NK Bosna, but lost 1:0 to the same club in the Cup final.
Sarajevo were runners-up in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Premier League in 2006-07, but won their second title the following season, beating Zrinjski Mostar by three points.
Sarajevo have been a regular in Europa League qualification in the 21st century, but are yet to make the group stages. Off the back of their 2006-07 league title, Sarajevo played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its current format. They beat Maltese champions Marsaxlokk F.C. 6:0 away in their first game, eventually winning 9:1 on aggregate. The second round saw Sarajevo defeat Belgians KRC Genk on away goals due to a 2:1 away win in the first leg, although the club were knocked out in the play-off for the Group Stage by Ukrainian team Dynamo Kiev who won 4:0 on aggregate.
FK Sarajevo's rivalry with fellow Sarajevo club FK Željezničar is mainly focused on the former animosity between the capital's working class and Bourgeoisie. FK Željezničar has traditionally been a working class club formed by the Railway Worker's Union in 1921, hence it's name which translates to Railroader in English. On the other hand FK Sarajevo has always been closely-tied to the political and financial elites of Bosnia and Herzegovina, both in socialist Yugoslavia and since the country's independence. In the past few decades the class divide between clubs has eroded, and both fanbases gather support from all classes.
As of 6 May 2014, 123 Sarajevo derbies have been played, with 38 wins by either club and 47 draws (152:154).
The stadium was opened in 1947 and named after the Sarajevo neighbourhood of Koševo, where it is located. In 1984, the stadium was reconstructed for the 1984 Winter Olympics, and is therefore often unofficially called The Olympic Stadium.
In 2004 the stadium's official name was changed to Asim H. Ferhatović, in memory of legendary FK Sarajevo striker Asim Ferhatović, who had passed away after a sudden heart attack in 1987.
In 1998, three years after the end of the Bosnian War, the stadium was renovated for a third time. Namely, the seating capacity of the stadium was reduced to 37,500 and new seats were added.
The ground has held matches for Sarajevo and their local rival FK Željezničar, including Europa League and Champions League fixtures. Furthermore, the stadium has hosted the national teams of Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on numerous occasions.
The stadium's highest attendance was recorded in a 1981-82 league match between FK Sarajevo and their city rival FK Željezničar. Allegedly, roughly 60.000 people attended the game. The stadium's largest post-war attendance was recorded in 2007-2008 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round match between FK Sarajevo and FC Dynamo Kyiv. Allegedly, about 32.000 people attended the game.
The club's supporters were historically called Pitari while an individual was, and is still, known as a Pitar. The nickname, meaning a consumer of the local Bosnian dish pita, was originally a derogatory label given by fans of working class FK Željezničar that implied the pre-war upper class background of most FK Sarajevo supporters.
By the early to mid 1980's, the rowdiness of the Pitari during matches of the time provoked large media coverage and accusations of being dangerous. During a big season game in April 1986 a maroon painted snake, mostly probably a specimen of the venomous Vipera ammodytes, was thrown off the East stand onto the visitors bench. Alarmed by this, the club management headed by then Director Svetozar Vujović opened the North stand of the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium to the most fanatical of fans.
Soon after, the name Horde Zla, that directly translates to Hordes of Evil, was born. Namely, several prominent members of the Pitari, influenced by the growing Ultras subculture in Europe decided to create a new identity based on a popular Zagor comic book of the same name. Today, Pitari and Horde Zla are interchangeable. By the end od 1987 Horde Zla became the fastest growing youth organisation in the city of Sarajevo, financing itself through a very well organised, vertically integrated marketing system, as well as a very rigid members policy.
During the late 1980's and early 1990's Horde Zla became infamous for a few of the largest fan riots in Yugoslavia, including the 1991 stabbing of two FK Partizan supporters in front of the JNA Stadium in Belgrade and the 1988 riots in the city of Mostar before a league game between FK Sarajevo and Velež Mostar, resulting in the stabbing of a local resident and the destruction of large amounts of public and private property. Unlike most other Ultra firms in Yugoslavia that had popularized and marketed the growing nationalist fervor that would later lead to the Yugoslav Wars, Horde Zla considered themselves Yugoslavs and the other firm's nationalist orientation was often a trigger for violence, as was the case during a January 1989 basketball game between KK Bosna and KK Crvena zvezda that led to over twenty serious and minor injuries.
When the Bosnian War began, most members of Horde Zla joined the newly formed Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in an effort to defend their city and newly independent state, and many did not survive. Today a plaque exists, to honor the members of Horde Zla that had layed down their lives defending their city and country.
After the war Horde Zla took back their place on the North stand of the the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium on the 10th anniversary of the firm's founding. The Horde Zla again were on the front pages when, during the 1998 Sarajevo derby against FK Željezničar, they invaded the pitch after some members of the opposing firm, The Maniacs assaulted the FK Sarajevo goalkeeper Mirsad Dedić, resulting in a large on-pitch battle that concluded with over thirty serious injuries.
Horde Zla again made headlines in October 2009, during the infamous Široki Brijeg Football Riots. The riots resulted in the death of Vedran Puljić, a member of Horde zla and over thirty serious injuries, including four gunshot wounds. In July 2012, Horde Zla clashed with Levski Sofia supporters in the first leg of a UEFA Europa League match that was held in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Nowadays, club enjoys huge popularity among people who are born or reside in the Sandžak region due to the recent immigration flow from Sandžak to Sarajevo.