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Olympics-Google Maps and other apps asked to restrict route options during Paris Games

The Olympic rings and the logo of Paris 2024 Olympic Games

PARIS (Reuters) -Navigation applications, such as Google Maps, have been asked by Paris's public transport authority to restrict suggested routes during the 2024 Olympic Games to the ones prepared for travellers, the body's chief executive said.

"We have asked (Google Maps, City Mapper and others) to relay our transport plans so that the traveller takes the route we have indicated," Laurent Probst, head of Ile-de-France Mobilites, the authority governing public transport network operators in Paris and the surrounding region, told Ouest-France newspaper on Wednesday.

He added that app providers may be asked to shut down their service if the companies do not comply with the request, deeming the issue a public safety concern.

The assertion was toned down later in the day by the operator's press department which stated that "the closure of Google Maps is definitely not on the cards", adding it was confident all providers will cooperate on the issue.

Google France did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on Thursday.

France expects up to 600,000 visitors for the opening ceremony alone, which will see 160 boats set off on July 26 from the Pont d'Austerlitz in central Paris for a 6-km (3.7-mile) journey to the Pont d'Iena.

Paris did not build an Olympic Park but decided instead to use existing infrastructure across the city, which spectators will reach predominantly by public transport.

The games will be held from July 26-Aug. 11 with the Paralympics taking place from Aug. 28-Sept 8.

(Reporting by Piotr LipinskiEditing by Toby Davis)