Until 1976, only four teams qualified for the final tournament. From 1980 eight teams competed and in 1996 the tournament expanded again to the current number of teams, 16. The competing teams are chosen by a series of qualifying games: in 1960 and 1964 through home and away play-offs; from 1968 through a combination of both qualifying groups and play-off games. Until 1976, the host country was selected from the four finalists after they were determined through qualifying. Since the expansion of the final tournament starting from 1980, the host country, or countries, have been chosen beforehand and qualify automatically. The defending champions have never been granted an automatic place in the finals.